Ballooning is a special interest dear to my heart because so many people we know have had wonderful experiences in balloons.
There are all kinds of balloons and all kids of ballooning, from festivals and joy rides to serious international level competition and record breaking flights. Gas balloons, hot-air balloons, Roziers (which are a combination of the two designed for distance flights) and smoke balloons have been used for transportation of people. Balloons were also used during the Civil War for reconnaissance and during the space race for research. Here is a favourite photo of me standing beside Joe Kittinger at a ballooning safety seminar.
Normally I don’t try to pose for photos with event speakers, but this is a very special exception. You can read about Joe in The Pre-Astronauts: Manned Ballooning on the Threshold of Space If you like that, also read Race to the Stratosphere: Manned Scientific Ballooning in America
Georgia has some great balloonists and some wonderful places to go ballooning. If you are interested in local ballooning,there are many option available. For information on ballooning organizations please go to the Balloon Federation of America or the Federation Internationale Aeronautique. For some great books on ballooning check the links below.
If you would like a quick delightful read about one man’s story, try:Man Flies: The Story of Alberto Santos-Dumont, Master of the Balloon, Conqueror of the Air It is currently out of print, but copies are around.
Here are some recommended books on different types of ballooning