The event was in celebration of the 225th anniversary of the first successful manned hot air balloon as well as in preparation for its annual flights at the upcoming QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.
Check out this time-lapse of the whole event:
The PNC Bank American Flag hot air balloon is 53 feet tall, 78 feet wide, 29 feet deep, and weighs a whopping 530 pounds.
This colossal balloon requires 30 million BTU's of propane to be fully inflated. The 5 story tall flag starts out inside a large duffel bag and is then removed and laid out flat on the ground.
How does this work? The balloon is inflated with cold air from a large fan. As it inflates, the balloon envelopes with air and then billows. Once filled with air, the pilot hooks up the balloon basket and the propane burners to heat (fire up) the inside of the balloon.
When the air inside the balloon is hotter than the air outside the balloon, the balloon rises.
The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank has flown (or tried to fly) the American Flag Balloon in the New York area every year since.
This is the 17th consecutive year the American Flag Balloon has launched the nation's celebrations.