2017 | Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race

What is the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race?
The Gordon Bennett Race is a gas hot air balloon race where the pilots all takeoff from one field and travel as far as they can go (Or until they run out of gas) These balloons rely solely on wind and sand bags to take the gold!
This race can last anywhere from 24 hours to about 72 hours (In a cooped up basket with another person (usually your best ballooning friend) this year there are 23 Gas Balloons to race!

All Gas Balloons have landed. Race lasted 48 Hours from the launch site in Switzerland!

(All photos from GB2017FR)

Live Tracking:
You can track these gas balloons as they race on

(Official Site)

Countries who are participating:
Austria (x2)
Czech Republic
France (x3)
Great Britain
Germany (x3)
Poland (x2)
Switzerland (x3)
United States of America (x2)


  1. Australia (Landed)
  2. Austria (Didn’t Fly)
  3. Austria (Landed)
  4. Belgium (Landed)
  5. Czech Republic (Landed)
  6. Spain (Landed)
  7. France (Landed)
  8. France (Landed)
  9. France (Landed)
  10. Great Britain (Landed)
  11. Germany (Landed)
  12. Germany (Landed)
  13. Germany (Landed)
  14. Japan (Landed)
  15. Lithuania (Landed)
  16. Poland (Landed)
  17. Poland (Landed)
  18. Switzerland (Landed)
  19. Switzerland (Landed)
  20. Switzerland (Landed)
  21. United States of America (Landed)
  22. United States or America (Landed)

Top 5 Countries Currently: (Still Flying)

  1. 07 - France - 1834.72 KM (Landed (Down and Safe)
  2. 18 - Switzerland - 1366.78 KM (Landed (Down and Safe)
  3. 06 - Spain - 1334.23 KM (Landed (Down and Safe)
  4. 19 - Switzerland - 1308.60 KM (Landed (Down and Safe)
  5. 12 - Germany - 1281.90 KM (Landed (Down and Safe)
    (Will be updated, To change throughout the night)

What is a Gas Hot Air Balloon?

(Info from GB2017)


That is so cool I wish I could go!


What on earth happened to poor number 3…


Is this legal? The balloons are going in other countries lol.

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#3 is from Austria.

They stayed low, causing them to get a slower wind then the other balloons (Remember its distance, so they could take 71 hours to get the furthest going slow.) They are still flying though at 11km/hr

This is fully legal! All pilots have gone through extensive security checks and even have their passport with them!

All ATC’s in Europe know about them aswell as governments! :)


Oh ok :) Thanks for letting me know!

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Well I guess your name is balloonchaser for a reason haha.

This is actually really cool. Never knew there was an event like this. I’ll be tracking them for sure. :)


The second link is the best for this race. Flightradar just shows where they are (Doesnt show the past or anything)

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Do you want to make it a wiki so we regulars can edit the top 5?

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If you want to do that you may

I also see no fly zones and no landing zones, how will this affect the ballooners?

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Nightfall is coming so pilots will have to make the decision to either land, or go another night. (Most will land and maybe 10 will be up by tomorrow morning) Night for USA)

The No Fly/Landing zones are for mountainous areas or counties that didnt agree for this festival (or theres been an issue in that country with ballooning in the past)

It will just mean that if they dont land now (and they go over these zones) that they are flying for another night.

Its sort of like… When I fly, we cant land at certain farms or properties (unless issues arise) but those farms in this case are countries :)

Oh ok, that makes a lot of sense but what if a balloon does end up landing in that country?

I believe that the pilot would just be disqualified from the race (but the country may make the pilot pay a fine or something)

I think the main reason is because of the mountains (unsafe)

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Update #1: Night #2 (24 Hours)

Currently 9/23 Gas Balloons are still flying into Night #2! We are now 24 Hours into the Race!

Countries still racing:
Great Britain
Germany (x2)
Switzerland (x2)

All of the other balloons have been reported “Down and Safe” as they now wait for their chase vehicle to arrive (can take up to 15 hours to get to them and then back to the launch site for ceremonies.)


Czechoslovakia doesn’t exist anymore ;-)
It’s either czech republic or Slovakian republic

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Kaliningrad certainly isn’t mountainous. Seems like their ATC has problems with the balloons.

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Nice Catch (I forgot about that) and didnt even check what CZE was! :P

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Yep! Its with ATC, so the balloons have a 40 meter window.

In Switzerland there were little red zones for the mountains though

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