Friday, July 3, 2015

Balloon Gondola

Today's picture shows the gondola of Giffard's Balloon we have been discussing the last few days. This picture also was taken in 1878, and it shows how the general public could purchase a ticket and go aloft to see spectacular views of paris from the air. From this picture it looks like the balloon could accommodate literally dozens of passengers at a time. Given that the balloon remained tethered, it was retrieved by cables which remained connected to the balloon. Hence, the balloon was pulled down without the need to vent the precious lifting gas. I would imagine this system would allow many flights per day. Also, since the gas was not vented, I would imagine a ride could be somewhat affordable. I was not able to find how long these rides lasted, or what they cost.


  1. I wish we had something like this in the fairs of today ....
    Nice new look on the blog, by the way!

  2. About 40 years ago they had a tethered balloon ride at my county fair at my county fair (Miles City, MT.). Basically you went up to the end of the cable and sat there for a minute and then they brought you back down. I wasn't very trilled with the ride. Though the price was fair for what you got.

  3. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park does have a tethered balloon ride, although it was no in operation the 2 times I was there. According to their website, it is a 10 - 12 min ride with a helium balloon.

  4. According to a print at the LOC, it looks like it cost 50 centimes to see the balloon and 10 francs to take a ride. Looks like it operated from 10 am to 6 pm daily (rain and wind permitting) ascending with up to 50 passengers, ten times a day to 1,600 feet.