Entrance to the parade site is 20 RON and there is a daily fee of 10 RON for parking.
The 17th Balloon Parade takes place in Mătrici, Mureș County, between September 22nd and 24th. For more details, you can consult our in-depth schedule and the directions for reaching the site.
The mass flights will take place at 7 AM (7:00) and 6 PM (18:00) each day of the festival. Please note that the mass flights can be affected by the weather conditions.
Between the balloon flights, you can explore the parade fair, where visitors of all ages will find something to do. If you’re a daredevil, you’ll also be able to fly in a sports airplane all throughout the event.
Nature lovers can explore the local trails by foot, go on organized trips, and even take a ride on the steam train between Câmpu Cetății și Sovata.
We didn’t forget about the kids, either! There will be plenty of playgrounds equipped with trampolines and even a small train ride to keep them entertained.
To book a balloon flight, you will have to contact Lorincz Miklos, our Balloon Ride Operator, directly. You can find his contact information on our Contact Page.
The balloon itself is made of reinforced nylon fabric. It’s very light (35-75 grams per square meter), but very strong (17-70 kilograms per square meter). Some balloons are treated with a polyurethane coating to make them more airtight and to help the fabric withstand the sun’s UV rays. The basket, or gondola, is made of strong, yet flexible woven wicker. It is connected to the balloon by stainless steel or Kevlar suspension cables.
A large pocket of air forms inside the balloon itself, or the envelope. That air is heated by the balloon’s burner, which causes the aircraft to rise. When the air in the envelope cools down, or if the air is released from the top or side of the envelope, the balloon descends. An altimeter is used to measure the altitude and the rate of climb. The altimeter and an envelope temperature gauge are the only instruments used in the balloon.
Envelopes range in size. The smallest, one-person, basket-less balloons (called “hoppers” or “cloudhoppers”) have as little as 600 m3 of envelope volume; for a perfect sphere, the radius would be around 5 m. At the other end of the scale, balloons used by commercial sightseeing operations may be able to carry well over two dozen people, with envelope volumes of up to 17,000 m3. The most commonly used size is about 2,800 m3 and can carry between 3 and 5 people.
Common liquid propane gas is used to heat the hot air in the balloon. Some balloons carry 180 liters of propane in two 90-liter stainless steel tanks, while others carry three 45-liter tanks. Propane is a stable and predictable fuel, but it is highly volatile. It is stored in liquid form in pressurized tanks and supplied to the burners through flexible hoses. The pilot controls the burner flame, which may shoot out 4 to 6 meters. A typical 90-minute flight with three people on board will burn through about 100 liters of propane. Some balloons have two independent burner fuel systems for added safety.
Hot air balloon have reached more than 15000 meters. The flying altitude always depends on the pilot. However, the flights are the most enjoyable at 60 to 150 meters, just above the tree tops. When balloons fly over populated areas, they have to maintain an altitude of at least 300 meters.
Actually, they don’t. The balloons are in fact carried by the wind. The pilot only chooses the altitude that has the best wind direction. Surface winds and currents sometimes blow in a very different direction from the winds higher up. The altitude is controlled using the burner. Longer burns achieve lift; shorter burns or none at all allow the air inside the envelope to cool down, causing the balloon to descend.
Since a balloon travels with the wind, it is not possible to determine its exact landing site prior to launch. However, the pilot is able to determine the general direction of the flight through the study of wind currents.
After the balloon is launched, the crew follows it in the chase vehicle. Using maps of the area, radios, and visual contact, the crew tries to be nearby when the balloon lands. The crew helps the pilot deflate the balloon, disassemble and pack it up, as well as return passengers and equipment home.