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Hot Air Balloon

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What is Hot Air Balloon?

A hot air balloon is a type of aircraft. It is lifted by heating the air inside the balloon, usually with fire. Hot air weighs less than the same volume of cold air, which means that hot air will rise up or float when there is cold air around it, just like a bubble of air in a pot of water. The greater the difference between the hot and the cold, the greater the difference in density, and the stronger the balloon will pull up. This means that balloons can carry more weight on a cold day, or if the air inside the balloon is very hot. At higher temperature, the air molecules move faster. This causes the molecules to spread out and therefor hot air is less dense than cooler air.

The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying flight technology. The first untethered manned hot air balloon flight was performed by Jean-François Pilate de Rosier and Francois Laurent d'Arlandes on November 21, 1783, in Paris, France, in a balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers. The first hot-air balloon flown in the Americas was launched from the Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia on January 9, 1793 by the French aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than simply drifting with the wind are known as thermal airships.

 

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History of Hot Air Balloon:-

The brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier developed a hot air balloon in Annona, Arche, France, and demonstrated it publicly on September 19, 1783, making an unmanned flight lasting 10 minutes. After experimenting with unmanned balloons and flights with animals, the first balloon flight with humans aboard, a tethered flight, performed on or around October 15, 1783, by Jean-Francois pilaster de Rosier who made at least one tethered flight from the yard of the Reveille workshop in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Later that same day, Pilate de Rosier became the second human to ascend into the air, reaching an altitude of 26 m (85 fit) and the length of the tether. The first free flight with human passengers was made a few weeks later, on November 21, 1783. King Louis had originally decreed that condemned criminals would be the first pilots, but de Rosier, along with Marquis François d'Arlandes, petitioned successfully for the honour. The first military use of a hot air balloon happened in 1794 during the battle of Fleur us, when the French used the balloon l'Entreprenant for observation.

Modern hot air balloons, with an on-board heat source, were developed by Ed Yost, beginning during the 1950s; his work resulted in his first successful flight, on October 22, 1960. The first modern hot air balloon to be made in the United Kingdom was the Bristol Belle, built in 1967. Presently, hot air balloons are used primarily for recreation. Hot air balloons are able to fly to extremely high altitudes. On November 26, 2005 Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot air balloon flight, reaching 21,027 m (68,986 fit). He took off from downtown Mumbai, India, and landed 240 km south in Panchal. The previous record of 19,811 m (64,997 fit) had been set by Per Lind strand on June 6, 1988, in Plano, Texas.

On January 15, 1991, the 'Virgin Pacific Flyer' balloon completed the longest flight in a hot air balloon when Per Lind strand and Richard Branson of the UK flew 7,671.91 km from Japan to Northern Canada. With a volume of 74 thousand cubic meters, the balloon envelope was the largest ever built for a hot air craft. Designed to fly in the trans-oceanic jet streams, the Pacific Flyer recorded the fastest ground speed for a manned balloon at 394 km/h. The longest duration record was set by Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, Augusta Piccard's grandson; and Briton Brian Jones, flying in the Breitling Orbiter 3. It was the first nonstop trip around the world by balloon. The balloon left Château-d'Oex, Switzerland, on March 1, 1999, and landed at 1:02 a.m. on March 21 in the Egyptian desert 480 km south of Cairo. The two men exceeded distance, endurance, and time records, traveling 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes. Steve Forsett, flying solo, exceeded the record for briefest time traveling around the world on 3 July 2002 on his sixth attempt, in 320 h 33 min. Fedora Konyukhov flew solo round the world on his first attempt in a hybrid hot-air/helium balloon from 11 to 23 July 2016 for a round-the world time of 272h 11m, as of 17 September 2016 awaiting official confirmation as the new record.

 

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How a Hot Air Balloon work?

The air is made up of molecules. When the air is cold, these molecules are closer together. When the air is hot, they move away from each other. So, in the same space, there are fewer molecules in hot air. Hot air is therefore lighter than cold air. This makes it rise and carry up the balloon when the air inside it is heated. The air is heated in the balloon with a burner, which uses bursts of fire to keep the air hot. The fire is fuelled by propane.

The heated air is kept inside the balloon by its fabric. This is called the "envelope". It is usually made of nylon.

The passengers and the pilot stand in the basket, which is attached to the balloon by ropes. The basket is usually made of wicker. Baskets can come in many sizes. It can have enough places for up to 36 people. It depends the size of the balloon to carry that much weight.

 

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Parts of Hot air Balloon:-

1. Envelope:-The envelope is the colourful part of the balloon. It is made from nylon that is heat resistant. Plastic is coated throughout the inside to help with the containment of heat. The envelope is stored in a canvas bag.

2. Basket:-The basket is made of wicker and constructed in a vertical weave. It is finished with a urethane coating on the outside of the basket. This will ensure its longevity and also helps if the basket flexes. The basket holds the propane tank and other instruments.

3. Burner:-The burner is usually over the pilot of the balloon's head and is controlled by using a hand valve. The gas used in the balloon is air. The air is heated by the burner which makes the air less dense. The dense air compared with the air outside makes the balloon rise and as the air inside the balloon cools, the balloon will descend.

4. Cables: Cables connect the basket to the envelope. It helps to evenly distribute the weight of the basket all the way up through the envelope.

5. Skirt: This part helps to keep away the wind from the burner flame so the flame will go directly up into the envelope. This helps to keeps the balloon's shape. It is also called a scoop.

6. Parachute: This is used if necessary to deflate the balloon. It can be opened by pulling a cord while in the basket by the pilot.

7. Uprights: These are also called burner supports. These are used to hold up the load frame and burner. They are mostly plastic. Sometimes there are no uprights, instead they use cables.

8. Ropes: On the top of the balloon is a crown line which is used for stabilization of the balloon while it's being inflated.

9. Tether lines: Used to tie down the balloon when it is on display.

10. Drop line: Could be released just before the balloon lands so a ground crew can pull the balloon to the location they want as it is descending from the sky.

 

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