From July 28th to August 6th, 1989 (150,000 visitors) - Future Metz Nancy Lorraine airport (Moselle)
723 crews - 13 Flights out of 19
A première! While organizing since 1983, the Challenge Pilâtre de Rozier in Metz, "Pilâtre de Rozier Organization" makes the decision to found in France on the special occasion of the Bicentenary of the French revolution, the greatest European hot-air balloon gathering and the second in the world after Albuquerque (New Mexico - USA). The show had to be imagined and set up in nothing but six months. The fiesta field was meant to become Metz Nancy Lorraine airport. A large area of 500 acres, still a true no man's land. At the end of the meeting which was to perform only once, the decision was made to renew the event every other year.
2nd Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 26th to August 4th, 1991 (512,500 visitors) - Metz Nancy Lorraine Airport– Moselle
1,100 pilots - 14 flights out of 19
It is always more difficult to organize a second edition when you'd planned there would be no other. Still we have more time to work on it. The site which has turned into an airport helps for an easier organization. The FIA (International Aeronautical Federation) acknowledges the event as "Category 1 Fiesta". The show attracts a bigger crowd as our main partner "Lorraine Regional Council" takes the opportunity to celebrate on the occasion the opening of the airport. Some balloons are invited to make the show out of the field (on a decentralized site in the Vosges) and many European countries are attending.
3rd Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 30th to August 8th, 1993 (more than 300,000 spectators) - Ancient NATO base of Chambley-Bussières (Meurthe&Moselle)
1,122 pilots - 16 flights out of 19
We moved to a new place as the airport is yet open. The choice was made of an old (American) NATO airbase, still a neglected place. It's necessary to reinvent everything. But we intend to stay longer in order to create a site open to all air sports. A true village is created to accommodate a large public. 38 nations are present with 763 hot air balloons. Precious delight, we succeed in having the "Orient Express" conveying the journalists from Paris to nearly the gateway of the field. As for the competition, 14 tasks are organized.
4th Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 28th to August 6th, 1995 (nearly 400,000 visitors) - – Old NATO base of Chambley-Bussières
18 flights out of 19
It is a very beautiful celebration. We are feeling better on this new field. We can develop new communication tools such as Internet. We organize more animations in between the flights.
The number of partners increases. Our business grows also appreciably, we organize the fantasy film festival, the manufacture of hot air balloons started for good and our training center enlarges. For this edition, important charges are dedicated to improve the field. Many celebrities join us. And we decide to use the runway to line up the balloons for take-off. It is a successful try with 117 lined-up balloons on 2 miles. This year there, the size of the event increases with many entertainments, air shows, etc. More than 2,800 people realize their dream: to fly on board a balloon. For the first time the "Biennale" enters the Guinness Book with 425 hot air balloons counted on a single launching.
5th Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 25th to August 3rd, 1997 (253,000 spectators) - Chambley AirBase (Meurthe-&-Moselle)
1,048 pilots - 11 flights out of 19
This year, the economic situation is catastrophic, the weather also. Almost half of the flights are cancelled. That explains a weak participation of the public; all the more as weekends are bad days. However, there is always a real craze from pilots and crews. Corporate partners invite more and more guests. The show is successful despite poor skies. There are more than 120 exhibitors. 48 nations are attending among which Pakistan. The gas balloon competition enables the Leys brothers to reach Vienna (Austria). A few weeks later, they will win the prestigious Gordon Bennett Cup. We are still organizing air shows featuring for the third time (1991, 1993 and 1995) the famous "Patrouille de France".
6th Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 30th to August 11th, 1999 (nearly 400,000 visitors) - 1,014 pilots - 18 flights out of 25
It is an outstanding edition. In France, on August 11th at 12:30 p.m., there is a total sun eclipse. It has not happened since 1724. The next one will take place in September 2081. We couldn't miss this opportunity; this is why three days were added to the event. The weather isn't extraordinary, but it is the first time that we make "a night glow" in bread daylight at the time of the total sun eclipse. Thousands of people ran to see the show. 51 nations are attending, Brits arrive first with 153 registered crews. We achieve a new successful Great Line take-off, but without counting (we had forgotten the certification officer).
7th Biennale Mondiale de l'Aérostation
From July 27th to August 5th, 2001 (more than 300,000 visitors) - Chambley AirBase (Meurthe-&-Moselle)
1,124 pilots - 14 flights out of 19
Since 2000, we organize in Thionville an other gathering, the even years when we don't organize the "Biennale". For the "Biennale", 55 nations are attending. More than 3,800 people take advantage of a first flight. There are more and more partners, even if they don't stay the ten days. Maybe an effect of the "35-hour week". The "balloon city" grows bigger on every edition, but this time it is more than 10,000 m² of tents and facilities that are settled and also 40 hectares of parking lot. Guests and celebrities are invited to this famous international "rendez-vous". Still four air shows are offered to the crowd. Let's note among animations, the creation of an outdoor movie theater to show the best aeronautical movies. We also organize a conference about the "European pioneers of the airs".
8th édition Mondial Air Ballons
From July 25th to August 3rd, 2003 (530,000 visitors) - Chambley AirBase (Meurthe-et-Moselle)
1,014 pilots - 15 flights out of 19 -
The event name changes for the third time. We become "Mondial Air Ballons" for a better international understanding and to help our new developments . Pilots and their crews from the seven continents are gathering on Chambley Air Base. The event taking place only every other year, it is a rendez-vous not to be missed. Moreover, thanks to the buzz, the "Aerostatic Society" knows that it is easy to fly in Lorraine, and that inhabitants are sympathetic and welcoming. We also organize the large meeting of amateur planebuilders entitled "Légend' Air". We experience the first visitors' traffic jam. The famous "Patrouille de France" makes us the honor to close one of the four air shows. We also create new competitions to enhance pilots' interest.
9th édition Mondial Air Ballons
From July 22nd to 31st 2005 (250,000 visitors) - Chambley AirBase (Meurthe-&-Moselle)
1,003 pilots - 13 flights out of 19
This year the weather isn't mild. Weekends are rather rainy and windy. But it's necessary to welcome gladly the 58 attending nations. There are more and more sponsors with good economic fallouts. When pilots don't fly, they consume on tourism sites. The public village is turning into a more welcoming area, with more information, animations and better food reception. Hangar 610 is at the crossroads of all publics. We keep on trying to associate all air sports disciplines in order to demonstrate Lorraine aeronautical resources.
10th édition Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons
From July 27th to August 5th, 2007 (343,470 visitors) - Chambley Air Base (Meurthe-&-Moselle)
1,187 pilots - 14 flights out of 19
The weather isn't fair in the event's beginning. This summer seems to be "the most rotten summer for long". Since June (and almost till September), everywhere in France, it rains, the weather is cold and people are morose. But yet the show is magical. All was reconsidered on the site to better welcome all publics: pilots, crews, partners, guests, media and visitors. We host three new nations: Burma, United Arab Emirates and South Korea. There are 38 nations attending and new special shape balloons which never flew in Lorraine before. A double line of hot air balloons is carried out. An UFO is detected in the sky and makes it possible to talk about that celebration even several weeks after. The event's name changes once again. The name of our main partner "the Lorraine Region" is now joined to that of the event. We have media repercussions in the whole world, more still than the previous years.
11th édition Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons
From July 24th to August 2nd, 2009 (425,000 visitors) - Chambley Air Base (Meurthe-&-Moselle)
1,034 pilots - 12 flights out of 19
It's hard to believe that the LORRAINE MONDIAL AIR BALLONS is already 20 years old !
Yet within 11 celebrations, the show has grown up and become first in terms of attending crews and nations. And the great success of the event impacts on whole Lorraine region.
In 2007, the festival ranked in the Top 10 of national events in terms of spectators (stated by the French Ministry of Tourism), now, every other year, it's a real tourist destination that cannot be ignored.
The 11th edition featured twelve hot-air balloon mass ascents (out of 19 scheduled), a gas-balloon flight and a magnificent night glow. The star attraction was certainly the "Great Line" of 329 hot-air balloons stood up at the same time along runway and taxiway. This new world record has been testified by a legal officer (previous record was 261 balloons in 2005).
Peak period was recorded on the first Sunday with nearly 80,000 spectators. In spite of a capricious weather at times, visitors were flocking to Chambley, which caused important traffic jams and obliged organization to deploy ingenuity in order to open additional car parks. The public largely enjoyed animations and theme villages. A global success interrelated with a significant development of "A Space Journey" recreation concept (virtual, static and dynamic) around astronomy, space and aeronautics.
Forty seven nations, 1,034 pilots, 2,672 crew members and 863 hot-air balloons joined for the event (an average stay of two days per crew) which did nothing but generate large economic and tourist fallouts. The aerodrome recorded 7,440 balloon take-offs and landings, without incident but also more than 1,100 planes movements. As for competitions, seven tasks and five challenges were contested. 11th Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons Trophy has been won by Wlodzimierz Klosek from Poland. Let's remember also that for the first time, the festival hosted an international glider aerobatic master.
Despite economic crisis, caterers observed an increase in sales. As for our 175 partners (companies and communities), they received 32,562 guests during the ten festive days : a high-grade celebration! Last but not least key figures, more than 2,500 people experimented with a first flight on hot-air balloon, ULM, plane, helicopter, paraglider, kite, etc.
Lorraine Region government, site owner, has engaged important rehabilitation works which facilitated the running of the event, as for example, with the opening of the air traffic. Animations and novelties in villages' scheme did find their place. But for next edition, there will be more deep changes on the site, thus we shall reconsider the global layout of the event.
12th edition Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons
From July 22nd to 31st, 2011
13th edition Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons
14th edition of Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons®
14th edition of Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons®
14th edition of Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons®