Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ballooning 101

How it begins...
There are big fans blowing air into the balloons and people holding the opening.
There are sections that are open, to make adjustments if necessary.
What started out as a huge space, became very close quarters!
Here's how they get them the rest of the way up.
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and (usually) a source of heat, in most cases an open flame. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In today's sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex. Beginning in the mid-1970s, balloon envelopes have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of commercial products, though the traditional shape remains popular for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.
This fellow seemed to have trouble getting off the ground.
I was worried for him, but I later learned that he was purposely skidding along the ground to get in the correct wind lane that would take him easily to the big X where he eventually wants to land.

1 comment: