Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Inflation

Seems so simple in hindsight, putting up a hot air balloon. Here is a sequence of photographs, each about 5 to 10 seconds apart, showing the inflation process.

Here is a similar, though shorter, sequence for the second balloon.

The balloon is packed with the basket-end connectors at the top of the bag. Once the connectors are attached to the basket, two people hold the bottom open while a gas-powered fan blows quickly into the balloon and while a third person pulls the bag away. The balloon naturally unpacks and fills at the same time.

Once the balloon is fully unpacked, the person at the far end puts in the parachute vent, which will enable the pilot to release hot air in order to control when and how much to descend. This completes the top seal on the balloon, which then completes the air fill.

The final step is to heat the air to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it rises to the familiar vertical position. Once all the passengers and the pilot are added, about the temperature must be raised about 50 more degrees to lift off.

Way cool.

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