Gas and Hot Air Balloon Adventure Rides
(248) 624-5137

Wicker Basket Balloon Center is the only Hot Air Balloon Ride Company in Michigan that also offers Gas Balloon Rides. So you may ask, what is the difference between a Hot Air Balloon and a Gas Balloon?

First, they are alike in some ways. The part of the balloon that holds the hot air or gas is called the envelope. The basket that carries the pilot and passengers is the gondola. With both types of lighter-than-air flight, pilots try to control their direction by taking advantage of different wind currents at different altitudes.  Flight preparation begins well before dawn and the flight could last all day.  Competitive flights may last for several days.

Hot Air Balloons rise as the temperature inside of the balloon becomes hotter than the air outside.  Gas Balloons achieve lift through lighter than air gas such as helium or hydrogen.

Gas balloons cost more to fly and usually need more people to help with their launch than hot-air balloons. It takes about ten people to launch a gas balloon,  and about half that number to launch a hot-air balloon ride. For a competition, the gas pilots also use the services of meteorologists who understand their needs. The pilots’ strategies are largely based on weather conditions. The only way they can “steer” a balloon is to catch the best wind currents.

So How much does it cost?
A Gas Balloon usually hold about 35,000 pounds of gas.  Our choice of gas is helium and It costs roughly $3,500 to inflate a gas balloon.  If this is for you, call us at (248) 624-5137 so we can begin our flight planning!

Your pilot, Gordon Boring has over 20 years experience flying Gas Balloons where he has competed in several America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Races launching from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico, and has flown in four of the Gordon Bennett gas balloon competitions. 

Follow the 2010 America's Challenge Balloon Race here 15th America's Challenge Race Tracking

Wicker Basket Balloon Center also offers Hot Air Balloon Rides in Southeast Michigan, visit our site at

Launch of the 2009 Gordon Bennett Race


Landing of the 2009 Gordon Bennett Race Austrian team Stürzlinger/Binder at the coast of Algeria close to Taksebt.


Dr. Janet Folkes, one of the pilots on board, talks us through the extrordinary footage on board a hydrogen-filled gas balloon as its crew breaks the world women's record for flight duration.

Hot Air Balloon Rides in Michigan provided by Wicker Basket Balloon Center
50140 Pontiac Trail - Wixom, Michigan 48393
(248) 624-5137
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