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Course : Hot Air Ballooning
Professor : Christian Oriol
Email :

Breitling Orbiter – Winners of the Round the World Challenge ***
Goes to show that a media blitz and a cool web site are not the key to being the first to make it around the world in a hot air balloon. Richard Brandson, eat your heart out ;-) You will find a spartan site with sluggish response times. Learn about the project’s organization and how Bertrand Picard and Brian Jones got ready for the trip. In addition you can post messages and participate in a contest allowing you to win a flight license. The most interesting feature is called the Backweb channel and it allows you to receive late breaking news from the flight crew using push technology.
ICO Global Challenger ****
A very professional looking site that lets you live the experience of Richard Brandson’s last Round the World attempt. The site contains an interview with Richard, pictures and video from inside the balloon and a transcript of all the chats with the crew. The best part is a java applet that lets you track the balloon’s progress by picking it up with the mouse and placing it at a point in the itinerary. Information is displayed about the height, pressure and speed as well as key events that happened at that time. Use this feature to plan your next trip and avoid Richard’s mistakes.
Cable and Wireless Balloon Trip ****
Another excellent site which allows you to vicariously experience the attempt of Andy Elson and Colin Prescot to circumnavigate the globe. The site contains a flight log, route map and a media center. You can find information about the challenge, the balloon, the team and in flight Internet chats that were organized during the trip. The best feature is the "For Kids" section describing what a hot air balloon is made of, inventors of hot air balloons and how to become a balloonist. You will also enjoy the Mission control web cam with regularly updated pictures.
Around the World by Balloon - Quest TV **
This site was created based on a one hour television documentary on the subject of the Around the World Challenge. Sections include the mission , the teams and technical information about the balloons. The technical drawings of the balloons are probably the best part of the site. The teams covered are limited to Richard Brandson’s Virgin Challenger, the Spirit of Peace and Team RE/MAX.
Ballooning International **
Dedicated to ballooning enthusiasts, Ballooning International is focused on building a community of amateurs of the sport to promote events and activities around the world. Sections include a gallery of pictures, articles about ballooning, a calendar of events and activities and a list of other resources on the web. The best feature of the site is the "Cool Tool" which features animated slide shows of beautiful balloon pictures. Other features will come soon.
Balloon Zone **
Discover the pleasures of ballooning while flying over California’s wine country. The trip over Napa valley is the best part of the site taking you through pre-dawn preparation and lift off. You will also find some educational material about the history of ballooning and how a balloon is put together. The Balloon Zone photo gallery contains many breathtaking pictures.
Ballooning Federation of America **
The official site of the BFA containing news update and announcements as well as information on competitions and national rankings. After all, ballooning is a sport as well as a hobby. The site lists scheduled safety seminars and regional gatherings which are the best opportunity to get educational materials. The most unique feature of the site is a program for Jr. Balloonists, age 7-17, who have their parents as mentors.
FAI sporting codes for Balloonists *
The Fédération Aéronautique International is one of the most respected organizations in ballooning. Given France’s role in inventing the first balloon this should seem normal. The site contains some of the most pedagogical works of any of the sites listed including detailed sections on classifications, definitions, rules dealing with the around the world contest, rules outlining sporting events, proficiency certificates and sporting badges. Make sure to read through to the section on Calculations of geometric altitude from barometric altitude, which is the most useful part of the site from an educational viewpoint.
History of Ballooning *
Gives a short history of the sport starting with Henry Cavendish’s discovery of inflatable air hydrogen.   Another sections explain the experiments of the Mongolfier brothers who are widely accredited with creating the first hot air balloon out of paper made in their paper factory. You will read about their first attempts with sending animals up, up and away as well as the first manned flights over Paris. The nicest part of the site is the original drawings of the Mongolfier’s contraption.
Bristol University Hot Air Balloon Society *
If who thought those Bristol University chaps were full of hot air, you were right. This site sections on a glossary of ballooning terms, a short history of ballooning and 10 things you didn’t know about ballooning. For instance, did you know that the temperature inside of a balloon is hot enough to boil water? More tea, sir…

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