The oldest discipline of sport aviation is a balloon sport. During the flight there are used balloons with a capacity from 600 to 4000 m3. The origins of the balloon sport dates back to the eighteenth century.
The first successful balloon flight was made in 1783 by two Frenchmen – brothers J. M. and J. E. Montgolfier, who ran a paper factory. They flew a balloon made of paper alone, filled with hot air. Their balloon reached a height of 1800 m. In 1785, so two years later, there was the first balloon flight over the English Channel, which was made by J. P. Blanchard.
Over the years, ballooning gained more and more popularity and people began to perform them in many other countries. Flights are carried out with balloons using hot air or gas. In 1906, the first competition for the Gordon Bennett Cup was organized, which is now considered to be the most prestigious competition in hot-air balloon flights.
Balloon sport is popular in many countries, but its development was mainly driven by France, the United States, Germany and Switzerland. Since the flight of the balloon made by brothers Montgolfier, balloons were regularly improved, in order to improve their safety and to allow longer and higher flights.
Currently, balloons are used in sports and in the recreation. Sightseeing flights are very popular in many countries. Balloons have been also used in advertising. During promotional activities there are used both stationary and flying balloons.