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The HiFlyer (also: HighFlyer ) is a large tethered balloon filled with helium that can rise a few hundred meters. However, it always remains connected to the ground via a cable and is drawn in again from there by means of a winch . It serves as a public attraction, because at the highest point there is a wide view of the surrounding landscape. The viewing options, which are particularly popular with tourists, were first established in 1993. They are now available in many countries and large cities. However, its use is always heavily dependent on the thermal and wind and can only be used during the day.


The term "HiFlyer" is a registered trademark of the British Lindstrand Balloons Ltd . The word is a contraction of high and flyer , which translates as high flyer . The trademark of the French counterpart is "Aero 30NG". It has a capacity of 6300  cubic meters of helium and a diameter of 22 meters.

The market leader in this area is the French company Aerophile , which first put the balloon into operation in 1993 in the park of Chantilly Castle (France) in cooperation with an Augsburg- based gas balloon manufacturer . Since then, over 20 of these systems have been installed worldwide.

Locations in Germany


HiFlyer in Berlin

The Berlin HiFlyer offers a view of the metropolis from 150 meters above Berlin . It was installed in 2006 at Zimmerstrasse 95-100 - near Checkpoint Charlie . For a long time before it was anchored between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate . At the beginning the advertisement of the private television broadcaster Sat.1 was on the balloon envelope , since about 2012 the national newspaper Die Welt has been advertising for itself, after which the aircraft is also called the “world balloon”. The operator of the tethered balloon is Air Service Berlin , which also offers sightseeing flights with helicopters .


HighFlyer in Hamburg

The balloon installed at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg in 2005 and operated under the name High Flyer also came from this manufacturer. The Hamburg balloon was sold and dismantled in 2014. The tethered balloon could carry around 30 passengers about 150 meters high. The owner Farhad Vladi had signed a rental agreement with the Hamburg Senate for the use of the Deichtorhallen site, which was not extended. After an unsuccessful search for another location in the city, Vladi sold the balloon to a non-German entrepreneur. He had the flying machine dismantled and transported to Rio de Janeiro in two large shipping containers . The balloon was supposed to be used there during the Olympic Games . According to its owner, the balloon had carried 120,000 people in five years when it was in operation in Hamburg.


In Saxony, in the Netzschkau district of the city of Mylau, there is the location of a personal helium balloon, on the envelope of which an insurance company and then breweries advertised. Here the passengers have a good view of the Göltzschtal bridge .

Locations outside of Germany


The city of Lucerne in Switzerland is specified here. A tethered balloon was installed in the Verkehrshaus and operated until the accident in July 2004. During this time, 140,000 people used this flight option.


There are also other helium balloon flight stations in France:
in Paris near the production site of the French developer Aerophile. Also in Le Parc du Petit Prince (“Park of the Little Prince”) in Ungersheim .


In Krakow , near the Wawel , a tethered balloon offered its rides for some time . However, it should no longer be available in 2017.

Czech Republic

In Prague , a helium tethered balloon is stationed directly on the banks of the Vltava on the terrace of the Kafka Museum on the Lesser Town.



On May 3, 2016, a gust of wind brought the balloon with 19 passengers and the balloon pilot in an uncontrolled position in Berlin. After take-off at around 4:30 p.m. , the balloon got caught in a fall wind that was not foreseeable. The aviation weather warning was received around 7 p.m. A flight ban was briefly imposed, but after security measures and protests it was lifted in the same month.


On July 23, 2004, there was a fatal accident with a HiFlyer installed in the Museum of Transport in Lucerne . Despite an impending thunderstorm, the balloon rose with an Indian tour group on board and was hit by strong gusts of wind. The wind hurled the balloon against the surrounding buildings and a tree, the basket being so damaged by its own tether that a floor slab came loose and a passenger fell out and was fatally injured. Three days after the accident, the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation withdrew its operating license to operate this HiFlyer. On September 23, 2008, the Swiss Federal Court convicted the accident pilot of negligent homicide because he climbed in spite of the critical weather conditions and because the balloon with 21 passengers and the pilot was overloaded in an inadmissible manner; the Federal Supreme Court upheld the judgment on June 12, 2009.

The damaged balloon was no longer used. Two years after the accident, the Verkehrshaus planned to install a helium balloon again. However, because of the enormous costs, this was refrained from.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Homepage Aerophile with a brief description of the balloon (French). Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  2. Homepage Weltballon HiFlyer Berlin , accessed on May 25, 2018.
  3. Photos and information about the HighFlyer in Hamburg
  4. One less attraction - Hamburg's HiFlyer sold , in: www.abendblatt.de; accessed on May 25, 2018.
  5. The tethered balloon near Mylau-Netschkau in Vogtland , on www.luftbildsuche.de; accessed on May 25, 2018.
  6. a b 10 years after the Hiflyer tragedy: Verkehrshaus relies on new attractions , accessed on May 25, 2018.
  7. Aerial views of the helium tethered balloon in Ungersheim at www.luftbildsuche.de; accessed on May 25, 2018.
  8. Hiflyer Balon Widokowy on www.lonelyplanet.com; accessed on May 25, 2018.
  9. Is Hiflyer Baloon Polska still in operation? . The answer on the blog is no, thank goodness. It's gone. (No, thank God. He's gone.)
  10. Mention of the helium balloon in the book Asphalt, Sex & Abentuer by Sina Blackwood (BoD) on books.google.de; accessed on September 7, 2018.
  11. Gusts of wind bring the "world" balloon dangerously lopsided. In: Berliner Morgenpost , May 3, 2016.
  12. Rolling "world" balloon - now the LKA is investigating. In: Berliner Morgenpost , May 4, 2016
  13. Pilot in court for fatal Hiflyer accident . In: 20 Minuten , September 22, 2008, accessed August 4, 2014.
  14. Decision of the Federal Court of June 12, 2009, Procedure No. 6B_175 / 2009. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; accessed on April 17, 2019 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / jumpcgi.bger.ch  
  15. ^ Investigation report by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau on the accident of July 23, 2004 in Lucerne ( Memento of June 12, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 8.4 MB).
  16. Press portal: The Verkehrshaus wants a new hiflyer by 2006 , accessed on May 25, 2018.