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Within hot air ballooning you can achieve different records.
Altitude record
Distance record
Duration record (time)

Below some historie about these records.

Altitude record:

A hot air balloon can reach much higher altitude than any other aircraft, and is only surpassed by rockets.


The highest officially recored flight took place on November 26, 2005 by the Businessman Vijaypat Singhania form India.

With a 48 meter high balloon the 67-year-old man rose at 06.45 hours (02:15 GMT) in Bombay. About three hours later, he was at an altitude of 21.291 mtr. In this he failed his goal, namely 21.336 mtr (70.000 ft) to reach, but he clearly improved the previous record, which was in June 1988 set by Per Lindstrand in Plano (Texas) with 19.811 mtr.


The pilot was in a 560 kg heavy aluminum cabin, about 2,7 by 1,4 mtr wide. The cabin was under pressure and was heated to protect the pilot against the extremely low pressures and temperatures of -93°C. The balloon contained approximately 45.500 m³ air, which was heated by 18 burners fed from three fuel tanks.

The pilot had VHF radio, GPS and a satellite phone. The balloon was equipped with a mechanism in case of emergency  to make an emergency landing with a parachute.

The flight took about 5 hours: three hours were necessary in order to reach the maximum height, the descent took about two hours.

The balloon landed in Panchale in the west of India.


Distance record:
The Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard (41) and the English balloonist and air force pilot Brian Jones (51), succeeded in 1999 as the first ones to fly in a hot air balloon around the world.

The Breitling Orbiter 3 passed on March 20 at 10.54 hours the finish line (9.27 degrees east longitude) in Mauretanië. On March 21 at 7 pm our time they landed safely at Mut in southeastern of Egypt.

Piccard and Jones began their journey from monday March 1st from the Swis place Chateau-d'Oex. They stayed in the air for 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes, a record.

The official distance record of 22.910 km, that stood on the name of the American Fossett, they have improved over a week ago. In total they have traveled 44.000 km.
With their performance the balloonist wrote history; the circuit around the world with a hot air balloon is regarded as the final challenge in avaition.

A brewer pays a million dollars to the first balloonist who still manage in this century to fly around the world. The balloonist were accompanied by Swiss meteorologists and Belgian meteorologist Luc Trullemans from the Royal Meteorological Institute in Ukkel.

In the recent years there where more than twenty attempts, but always went premturely wrong, as recently with the English balloonists Andy Elson and Colin Prescot, who were in the first week of March concurrently in the air with the team Piccard and Jones. On March 7, the came to Japan in a low pressure area , where the were forced to make an emergency landing 80 km away from the Japanese coast. The managed to keep the balloon 17 days, 10 hours and 25 minutes in the air, but that duration record is now enhanced by Piccard and Jones.

The American Steve Fossett together with Richard Bransen, took at the end of December an attempt with the ICO Global. On the first day of Christmas the came over the Pacific Ocean into a depression so they couldn`t continue any longer and had to perform an emergency landing. Earlier that year, in August, Fossett went to Mendoza (Argentina) to departure with his "Solo Spirit". He flew with his balloon over Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean, South Africa, The Indian Ocean and Australia, but was soon above the Coral Sea struck by lightning. His balloon tore and collapsed into the sea, which the fourth attempt by Fossett had ended.

The main meteorological factors are wind speed and direction, which vary with height. Also temperature, clouds, rain and thunderstorms need to be held in site in case of icing, weight and lightning danger.

At about ten km altitude blows a hug wind, called the jet stream. The narrow elongated flow, like a river in a landscape meanders through the atmosphere, reaches wind speeds up to 100 and sometimes 350 km/h. Above our country blows the polar jet stream, mostly from southwest to northwest. Above China, Japan and the western of the Pacific Ocean dominates also the subtropical jet stream from most western directions. To fly a balloon through this route to get around the world, jets have to come so close together that the balloon can be charged in the jet stream from one another. The balloon should therefore start for example in Europe to fly with the flow to end up in the subtropical jet stream. The balloon can then fly over the Himalayas to the Pacific Ocean, the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, after crossing the longitude at which the place of departure is situated and then to end up somewhere at land.

Duration record (time):

Henk Broeders flew non-stop with his balloon and put a distance of 498 km in 20 hours and 37 minutes.”


On Sunday evening January 9, 2011 he rose at 19.25 hours from Zundert. The grassland of Kees Snepvangers was the scene where the balloon was made ready for take-off. After take-off began the night flight. It was crystal clear with thousands of stars and a quater moon. The balloon headed to Eindhoven which Henk passed at 5.000 ft with a speed of 20 knt.


After consultation with the German Langen Information he had to cross the German Border between 6.000 and 10.000 ft, because at that time there was a lot of air traffic over the Ruhr. Because of the diminishing upper winds , Henk did more than 2 hours to cross this immense area. After the Ruhr he had permission to go to 15.000 ft to pick up some winds of 40 knt. This wind will bring him to Berlijn and Warsaw, but once at this altitude the wind was limited to only 20 knt. The gas consumption rose: in less than an hour one gas cylinder was empty and so Henk decided around 23.30 hours to focus on the duration record.


After permission of the air traffic he resume to fly between 4.000 and 7.000 ft. The wind came from the west so that the balloon passed over Warstein. The more the balloon entered Germany, the more the wind decreased. Around 1.00 pm there was only 10 to 15 knt.

Around 8.00 am the dawn came slowly emerged. Normally after a beautiful night flight you would look for a landing spot, but he had to convert the button because he was busy with his duration record. Consumption of a gas cylinder at that time was 1 hour and 10 minutes.

After sunrise it got very hazy and low stratus or fog arose, but thanks to the sun, the balloon got extra heat and the consumption reduced to one gas cylinder in 2 hours and 15 minutes. As this result, the possibilities were many times greater to fly till sunset.


As the day progressed, the wind decreased further to 6-7 knt. The tiredness increased so he took off his coat. Back in focus by the cold and a big pile of sandwiches, Henk was back in business. The thrill of his record gave him new energy.

At 15.45 hours he prepared himself for landing that was coming, because daylight period end was in sight.
At exactly 16.02 pm Henk landed in a field near the small town of Podzig in Germany, after a flight of 20 hours 37 minutes over a distance of 498 km.