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Cappadocia Hot Air Ballooning

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Hot air ballooning
Flying is one of the oldest dreams of humankind and this dreamfirst came true by a balloon. There were various types of flaying vehicles invented after the balloon but it is still a preffered means of flying.

Ikarus and the unbearable lightness of flying
Mythology is full of flying gods. Ikarus, one of the Greek mythology heroes, is the son of architect Daidalos of Crete. Whatever the crime they commited, the father ans son were sent to Labyrintos Island with King Minos order. The only way to escape from the island is to fly. The architect father prepares two couples of wings for himself and his son and stick them to their shoulders with beeswax. Then they fly togother. The father teaches his son not to fly very high, because the sun would melt the wax.
But Ikaros is so excited about flying, that he can not stop himself from flying higher and higher. As the gets higher, the beeswax starts melting but fying high is so breathtaking, he can’t resist. Eventually the wax melts and the wings drop off. Ikaros falls into the sea and dies. From then on, the sea surrounding Samos Island is called Ikaros sea. This mythological story shows clerly how irresistible the dream of flying is to humankind.

Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey
Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey

Flying attempts during Ottoman Empire
As examples of flying are given, Turkish history also has an interesting instance. Ahmet Celebi is an Ottoman scholar who lived between 1609 and 1940. Fort his knowledge in many areas and his inventions, he was called “hezarfen” meaning “knowing many things”. It is told that Ahmet Celebi jumped from Galata Tower and flew to Üsküdar with the wings he prepared. After his sucsess, he was both rewarded and exiled to Algeria by Sultan 4. Murat. As can be seen, flying is both fun and has an irresistible appeaal but at the same time it is really dangerous too.

Balloon : From Mongolfier Brothers to today
One of the first physics laws found was gravity force. Dear Newton had found this after an apple that felt on his head while sitting at the bottom of an apple tree. According to this law, an object had to overcome the gravity in order to fly. If you could not overcome gravity with engine power the only choice was to be lighter than air. This was the main idea of balloon inventors. The French Joseph and Etienne Mongolfier Brothers, found that hot air is lighter than cold air and that a balloon filled with hot air could fly. The technology of balloon has definetely changed since the Mongolfier Brothers. But the main idea and logic of the work has been the same.

Balloon’s Structure
The main frame of the balloon is made of fire resistant and durable material. This section is generally filled with hot air and flying is made possible. The hole at the top of the body whose opening is controlled by ropes at the bottom, allows control of pressure in the balloon. The wind’s direction varies at diffrent altitudes in the atmosphere. The pilot flying the balloon has the chance to change the altitude and find the necessary wind current. Expert balloon pilots make good use of this fact and fly their balloon wherever they wish. Hot air balloons generally fly at altitudes between 500 – 1500 metres. Since 28 – 30 degrees Celcius is risky for balloon flights, touristic flights are made during calm weather when there’s no wind in the morning.

Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey
Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey

Technical specifications of balloons
The weight a balloon can carry depends on the size of its basket. The main body weighs about 95 kilos. There’s a basket attached below the main body for carrying people. This basket is made of lightweight and synthetic material. The basket weighs about 85 kilos. Their capacity ranges between 4 and 20 people. Just above this basket is a fuel tank and a burner to heat the air inside. Fuel tanks are made of propane cylinder, a balloon can fly for approximetely 45 minutes. Inside the basket are an altimetre for defining the altitude; a variometre for defining the updraft angle and a pyrometre showing the inside heat of the balloon. Also there is a radio to communicate with the land crew.

Types of balloons
Balloons, considering the type of gas used in the filling, are divided into three groups. The most used are called hot air balloons. In order to fly these balloons;the burner above the basket is lit to heat the air inside. During the heating process, propane gas is used and the heat inside the balloon is not to exceed 120 degrees Celcius. Hot air balloons can stay on air for about three hours. Other balloons are called gas balloons. These types of balloons can stay on air for a long time. There is a third type of balloon called Rozier, which is produced as a combination of hot air and gas balloons.

Turkish Aeronautical Association and Balloon Flying in Turkey
A balloon was brought by the Turkish Aeronautical Association (TAA) and the first hot air balloon flight was realised in 1985. Since the association had no one with the knowledge of balloon flying, at first Akin Ozbekligil, a teacher at the Parachute School took care of the balloon. Afterwards, a balloon pilot was brought from Belgium and the first few flights were taken care of by him. About five years later, from 1990 on, TAA had increasing publicity with the help of international organisations. Glider, parachute and model airplane schools were founded by TAAand in addition to that, Very Light Aircraft School was founded in 1996 where delta wing, paragliding and ballooning trainings were given. 1st World Air Games held in 1997 was a milestone for both Turkish Aeronautical Association and balloons, which was hosted by TAA. From then on, çivil aviation has been improving much faster.

Ballooning training in Turkey
Today, to get a balloon pilot licence , it is necessary to be graduated from Very Light Aircraft School of TAA. The trainings consist of two phases The first phase consists of basic flight training for 30 days. Those who successfully complete the theoretical part of this phase, take practical flight training and fly for 10 hours and 30 minutes in total. The second phase which lasts for 60 days consists of advanced balloon training. In this part of the training, the candidates fly for 26 hours and 30 minutes. After a total of 90 days of training, those who are successful receive the balloon pilot licence verified by Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia
The first hot air balloon flights in Cappadocia took place in 1989 with the balloons that a hotel brought from abroad. The hotel brings 2 balloons and the flights begin. These flights purpose was more promotional and advertisemental. The pilots flying the balloons were Kalli Kidner and Lars-Eric Möre. During those flights, TAA sent Turkish supervisor pilots for balloon flights because it was forbidden for foreigners to fly alone. Hot air balloon flights suspended for a short time the hotel was endorsed in 1990. Meanwhile, balloon pilots Kaili and Lars from a partnership with a Cappadocia company owner and buy the balloons on sale by the hotel and found the first hot air balloon firm in Cappadocia.
1st World Air Games was hosted by TAA in 1997. The games were held in Cappadocia in 7 different regions and 16 aeronautical branches. After this organisation, hot air ballooning shows an era of fast improvement in Cappadocia. By the year of 2000 , the number of hot air balloon companies in the region started to increase. It is known that today in Cappadocia there are 15 companies and organize flights by 160 hot ail balloons.
All this development shows that ballooning is quite characteristical for Cappadocia and Cappadocia is a brand in hot air ballooning now. At this stage, we believe that not the quantity but the quality should be improved and the services should be taken to a higher level. Another point about hot air ballooning is the “noisepollution”. The flights early in the morning is said to disturb the population and the fauna in Cappadocia. The lowest altitude of flight defined by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is 300 m. Complying with this regulation should eliminate any inconveniences.

Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey
Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia Turkey

A brand in hot air balloon tours: Cappadocia
Everyone visiting Cappadocia has either heard of the hot air balloon tour or learn about it in Cappadocia. In the last few years, Cappadocia is known for ballooning. We can proudly say that Cappadocia is one of the most important hot air balloon flying centers in Turkey and itS not a coincidence. First of all, Cappadocia is prefferd for its unique geographics, climate and unprecedented geological formations. As you know, climate in Cappadocia is continental nd therefore there is quite a high difference of temperature between day and night. Even during the summer in spite of the fact that the weather is quite calm early in the morning, it gets much warmer after sunrise. Therefore the warming air gains mobility in the valleys and between the skirts of mountains. Fort that reason the balloons start taking off as the sun rises. Swimming these balloons in the river of air currents is left to the experience and proficiency of the pilot.
Of course what madeCappadocia a brand in balloon flights is not the unbearable lightness of flying. Over what we are flying and what we see is of course very important. I dont think there’s any need to talk about the surprises Cappadocia can offer. Once you see Cappadocia from above, you might get the feeling that you have never seen it before.

Joining hot air balloon tour
To join a balloon tour in Cappadocia, the only thing you have to do is contact a balloon tour firm or contact us. Even informing the hotel about your request might be enough and they will maket he reservation for you. Of course you can choose and contact a firm on your own or visit the tourism agencies in Cappadocia.
Once you contact the firm, you will be noticed about the time of your flight and what time you will be picked up from the hotel. Before sunrise at about 4 a.m you will be picked up and taken to the field where balloons take off. You will see an interesting view here, because all the firms balloons are prepared at the same field. As you wait for balloons to be inflated, you’re served breakfast and tea. As the balloons are ready, it’s almost time for sunrise. Time to take off. A balloon flight take between 45 to 90 minutes. The costs vary depending on the duration of the flight. You won’t land where you have taken off, because hot air balloon flights have no specific landing point. It will be defined by the air conditions and the direction of the wind. Land crew continuously follows the balloon as you fly and controls it during the landing. Following the flight, a certificate ceremony is a hot air ballooning tradition from Mongolfier Brothers in 1783 that lasted till today. About the certificate, it is a sweet memory of your balloon flight. Afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel by the firm. Seeing the day has just begun at the hotel makes one feel a strange superiority.

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