View Full Version : Hot Air Balloon Escape With Dramatic Landing

Purple Tulip
02-09-2010, 07:37 AM
I need help with a scene in my story that takes place in a hot air balloon during the 1890ís. My characters hop into a hot air balloon that is all set up and ready for take-off. They cut the anchors and off they go. The balloon is stolen and none of them has ever piloted one before. I would like for them to bring the balloon down somewhere in or near New York city (they leave from the country). Central Park would be nice. I donít care if they land in a tree, but getting stuck on a building might be too much of a problem.
Is all this even feasible? Would they need to have a pilot in the gondola whom they kidnap because it would just be too ridiculous for a trio of kids to fly the balloon in the first place? What about bringing the balloon down in Central Park? Could it have enough altitude to get over the tall buildings (remember this is the 1890ís) and then descend?
Iíve been researching balloons, but most of the information I found is about modern balloons and Iím not sure how much they have essentially changed in a hundred years. :e2shrug:

02-09-2010, 09:14 AM
Depending on how much information you are requiring, it might be easiest to contact the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. They have items in their collections dating back to the late 1800s and their experts could probably provide you with the information you are looking for.

You can contact them via their website at www.balloonmuseum.com (http://www.balloonmuseum.com)

02-09-2010, 03:28 PM
I've never been in a balloon, but it seems to me, they have no method of steering, so they'll go where the wind takes them.

02-09-2010, 06:05 PM
Most of what I know stems from the Civil War use of balloons (the US Army Balloon Corps). I know in NYC they did balloon ascents for 4th of July in the 19th century, but I can't remember which park they used. And I'm not sure how advanced ballooning technology got by the 1890s...

02-09-2010, 06:30 PM
If they know nothing about hot air balloons, yes they would need someone to pilot it. Plus as someone has said, they are pretty much at the mercy of the wind. If there is no wind they will go straight up, and balloons are not very fast unless the wind is then it's dangerous so they'd probably want to go over a forest or a body of water where it would be harder to pursue with a secondary point of transporation to get them from there. They would need to be able to communicate with that second mode so they could be at the right place.

Purple Tulip
02-09-2010, 07:34 PM
They would need to be able to communicate with that second mode so they could be at the right place.

It's a good thought, but I'm not worried about them getting picked up as long as they come down in the city. Also, I don't mind that the balloon is slow because during that time there will be important diolague before the pace picks up again with more chasing and peril. The main thing is that they get off the ground and then land in the city.