The backdrop of a beautiful blue sky along with the Aerodrome’s vintage biplanes made the perfect setting for a hot air balloon demonstration. This year, the Flying Circus held its 47th Balloon Fest on October 3-4, but weather wouldn’t allow for a safe launch. Instead, two tethered balloons were used Saturday morning to explain how they operate in the sky. The crowd that stuck around after Saturday’s air show was treated to a colorful balloon launch. Sunday provided a launch opportunity as well.
A hot air balloon has no built-in mechanism for steering, so it uses the direction in which the wind travels to steer itself. The pilot can control the altitude and the vertical speed of the balloon by using the propane tank to heat the air that causes the balloon to rise. With the prevailing winds Saturday morning, the hot air balloons would’ve been pushed towards a Military Operations Area if launched from the aerodrome. To avoid violations and keep everyone safe, eight balloons were remotely launched Saturday morning, and the audience was able to see six fly by the field.
Biplane rides available between the balloon demonstration and the air show on both days. While no balloon rides were offered, their colorful presence still put smiles on faces. The Flying Circus performed its airshow on both days, and this provided the crowd an opportunity to watch precise formation flying along with aerobatic flying demonstrations. The Flying Circus usually hosts air shows every Sunday from May until October, and all events depend on good weather in order to take place.
The atmosphere provided its normal family friendly vibe while still practicing social distancing and other safety measures. Children played in the grass with their airplane toys; dogs were on leashes enjoying the weather, and families enjoyed time together in between the balloon demonstration and the airshow. Attendees had more than enough space to safely spread out in the grass and still have a great view of the aviation action.
Story credit: https://doav.virginia.gov/
Photo credit: Big thanks to Everyone who contributed to a Very Successful 2020 Balloon Festival. All of the Ground Crew, Staff, Pilots, Photogs and Videographers, all worked overtime to pull off a Great Weekend. This Photo: Joseph Bender flying Chuck Tippett’s 1927 Travel Air, with RJ Gritter piloting the Decathlon camera ship, photos (c) Vernon Poole. https://www.facebook.com/flyingcircusairshow/