World record equalled at the Grand Est Mondial Air Balloons festival
The organisers of this year’s Grand Est Mondial Air Balloons festival have attempted to set a new record for the most hot air balloons to launch within an hour-long window.
At the last event in 2017, a new record was set when 456 hot air balloons took to the skies. Despite putting on an impressive spectacle, no new record was set, although participants managed to match the previous record. Over 500 balloons had been expected to launch.
The festival, which is one of the biggest of its kind in the world, takes place every two years near Metz in the Lorraine region of France. For 10 days, some 3,000 pilots and crew, 400,000 visitors, and about a thousand hot air balloons from 70 countries take over the Chambley-Bussières Air Base, which is a former US Air Force base.
While the main event was ‘The Great Line’, and it has been given this name because the balloons line up on some four miles of runway. There was also other entertainment at the event. Two mass ascents were scheduled each day in the morning and evening, while the night of July 31 saw the usual night glow event.
Hot air balloon rides were available, although visitors could also enter competitions to win a free ride. There were competitions for pilots in areas such as speed, dexterity, and accuracy, as well as astronomy events and demonstrations of model aircraft and drones. Over 50 animations and stands were also there to entertain and inform visitors.