Inside look at the world’s biggest hot air balloon

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday was another picture perfect day at Balloon Fiesta, and KRQE News 13 got a glimpse inside the biggest special shape hot air balloon in the world.

It’s a newcomer to Fiesta and it comes all the way from Europe. The gigantic motorcycle is hard to miss and it’s quickly becoming a fan favorite.

“It’s something to be seen. Something very, very cool,” spectator Jason Volesky of Wisconsin, said.

The biggest balloon at this year’s Fiesta also happens to be the biggest hot air balloon in the world.

“It’s 44 meters (144 feet) wide. It’s 30 meters (98 feet) high,” balloon pilot Herman Kliensmit said.

The massive Superbike came all the way from Holland and it takes a big crew to inflate. Wednesday morning, KRQE News 13 got an inside look, going in with crews to see how they prepare for takeoff.

“It’s big, big fun. It’s so amazing,” Kliensmit said.

People coming from all over the world say they have never seen anything like it, so they’re capturing the moment on camera, intending to keep it forever.

“It’s worth the trip,” another spectator said.

“In Europe, we have festivals of 30-50 balloons. Here, around me now, maybe 400-500. It’s amazing. Everywhere balloons. We like it very much,” Kliensmit said.

Getting ready to take flight, pilot Herman Kleinsmit said it’s also harder to fly than other special shapes. It needs a little extra push — like more wind speed and a big field for landing — but for spectators, just being able to see the balloon inflated is enough.

“Everybody is coming and everybody will have pictures,” Kliensmit said.

Klienmit also said he has only flown his balloon 18 times, but he has inflated it much more.

This is Superbike’s first year at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Pilot Klienmit said he hopes it’s not their last.

Spectators still have four more days to check it out at Balloon Fiesta. The last day is Sunday, October 15.

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