A hang-glider, with its smoke trail, weaving in and out of the ballons. Little dots, rapidaly growing as they head for earth, suddently sprouting coloured parachutes. These are a few aspects of the show the International Balloon Festival has to offer.
The great new addition to the Festival’s air displays! Jérôme Cusin, professional pilot, presents a programme entitled “Voltige Unlimited Freestyle” with an Extra 330 SC. His sequences include all conceivable figures possible with the airborne equivalent of an F1. It is the only plane of its kind in Switzerland and winner of the world championships 2009.
The hot-air or thermal airship, also known as a “hotship”, works on the same principle as the hot-air balloon. The envelope, made of a lightweight and resistant fabric, is filled with the ambient air using a large ventilator. The basket, with the propulsion equipment, is attached to the envelope by a series of cables. The aerostat is able to move forward and fly against the wind.
As light as a feather and as manoeuvrable as a fighter plane, paragliders offer enormous possibilities, and you will be amazed by the beauty and dexterity of the pilots’ stunts. In addition to the traditional launching from the surrounding summits, during the Festival the paragliders can be launched from balloons. Hanging from the basket, with the canopy carefully folded away in a special pack, the pilot only needs to open his tow-releases to take off.
A model balloon is a scaled-down version of a full-sized balloon with all its components. Using a remote control, enthusiasts from the GAM (Groupe Aérostatique de Modélisme) fly their multicoloured balloons like the real thing, but at a reasonable altitude and often with a precautionary little string attached to the basket. It would indeed be sad if one of these beautiful miniatures were to get lost in the skies!
Sky Chariots and Cloudhoppers
What could be more sedate, or more exhilarating that to be flying alone in a single-seater craft, going where the low altitude winds carry you? These single-seaters are equipped with a gas canister, on which the pilot is seated. Thanks to the balloon’s small volume (approx. 700 m³ or 24,700 cu.ft.), the pilot can really let himself be carried by the wind, just toying with his hot air balloon. There will be a dozen of these balloons at Château d’OEx.
This is a special flying suit which not only allows the sky diver to slow the rate of his descent but enables him to really fly quite elegantly. When he has finished gliding, the sky diver opens his parachute and lands gently on the ground. Emotionally weird and a show which is unlike any other!