Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ayalon94 Hot Air Ballooning Championship.

On October 15, 1793 the first pilot in the world, Pilatre De Rozier, took to the air in France in a hot-air balloon, built by the brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier. A huge cloth sack in the form of a balloon, open at the bottom, was filled with warm air that rose from an open fire, The sack swelled out as the hot air filled the big balloon and the ancient dream of man to fly through the air was realized.

Hot-air balloons can float in the air because the volume of air displaced by the balloon is heavier than the balloon itself. As long as the weight of the hot-air balloon is less than the weight of the volume of air which it displaces, the balloon will rise.
Today balloons filled with helium permit longer and higher flights than is possible in balloons filled with hot air.

In the last 20 years, flying hot-air balloons has developed into a keen sport and the experience of flying in balloons has created many enthusiasts, so that there are now thousands of amateur hot-air balloonists, and annual international competitions. In Israel, two such international contests, have already taken place, and in 1994 a third international contest took place in the Ayalon Valley close to the Latrun Monastery. It came to be known as the Ayalon94 Ballooning Championship.

One hundred and thirty balloons from 20 countries filled the skies of the Valley between the 5th and 8th of July 1994. This series of stamps describes a hot-air balloon competition, starting with the filling of the balloon with hot air, through navigation to the target, and finishing with throwing the marker at its centre, from the balloon. The winning pilot is not the one who travels fastest but the one whose marker finishes closest to the center the target, and successfully executes a number of maneuvers. On the tabs of the stamps are depicted the burner, the basket, thermometer and altimeter. 

Thank you Dear Merja for this lovely FDC.

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