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In a hot air balloon, a gas burner is used to heat air to a temperature of about 212°F (100°C). Since hot air is lighter and less dense than the cool air around the balloon, the heated air causes the whole balloon to rise.

Flights in hot air balloons have been recorded at over 50,000 feet. However, the sport of ballooning is most enjoyable when flying 1,200 to 3,000 feet.

The average balloon costs for a small 2 person is about $22,000.

Envelope size:
Balloons range in size from 56,000 to 310,000 cubic ft.
A typical balloon with room for a pilot and 2 passengers is 77,000 or 90,000 cubic ft.
The envelope of a 90,000 cu ft balloon is about 48 ft high and 60 ft in diamater.
A one-person balloon (basically a chair with the gas tank below) (called "Hoppers" or "Cloudhoppers") may be only 21,000 cu ft.
Source: Envelopes : - Lindstrand Balloons
FireFly 8B - Specifications and Pricing for this 90,000 Cu. Ft. hot air balloon

The fabric is woven from two kinds of yarn, nylon and Dacron (polyester). There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Nylon is lighter and stronger, but Dacron can withstand higher temperatures.

Skirt: Fire-resistant Nomex™ is used for the skirt and wind guard.

A PressureScoop™ invented by cameron balloons is a triangular piece of fabric that covers the backet suspension cables.
It is used to direct cool air into the balloon (cool air is needed to help pressurize the inside of the balloon).
It also serves as a wind guard to shelter the burner from the wind so the flame points directly into the balloon.
The scoop may be used in lieu of a skirt.

Turning Vents:
Turning vents allow the balloon to rotate (yaw).
A cord going down the the basket can be pulled to open one side of a flap on the balloon allowing air to escape horizontally tangent to to the balloon causing it to rotate.
See Hot Air Balloon Turning Vent Construction | SkyChariot.com

Parachute: The top of the balloon has a large opening covered on the inside by a circular piece of fabric called a parachute which can awith lines all around coming down to a cord going to the basket.
A parachute vent is opened by pulling on the control line. Once the control line is released, the pressure of the remaining hot air pushes the vent fabric back into place. A parachute vent can be opened briefly while in flight to initiate a rapid descent. (Slower descents are initiated by allowing the air in the balloon to cool naturally.)
In the picture to the right, crew members are securing the parachute during balloon inflation.

Propane Tanks: are strapped to the insides of the basket. Some tanks hold up to 20 gallons of liquid propane, which is enough for about 30 minutes of flight. Normally, three to four tanks are used.

Basket: Wicker - light weight and flexible on impact.

QuickChek Festival of Ballooning - Largest balloon festival on the East Coast with 125 balloons, air show, crafts, food and family entertainment. Solberg Airport, Readington, NJ
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October has 500 balloons.

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been and there you will long to return.
- Leonardo da Vinci
Hot air balloon - Wikipedia
| New Jersey Hot Air Ballooning - A
Xlta Open Content Balloon Plans
Crew Training | cazooee.com
Keith Sproul | www.skychariot.com
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last updated 2 Aug 2017