Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The science and characteristics of Hot Air Balloons

In aeronautics, the definition of a balloon is an unpowered aerostat that floats due to its buoyancy. A balloon may be free, moving with the wind, or fastened.

(Buoyancy in balloons: An upward force exerted by air that opposes the weight of the balloon)

The balloon is based on three crucial principles of buoyancy which are:

• The Archimedes’ principle
• Boyle’s law and
• Charles’ law


Straw and alcohol solutions were used as fuel for heating the hot air balloons in early 19th century; today liquefied propane is exclusively used for hot air balloons.

The burners use vaporizing coils to heat the fuel, the coils are made out of stainless steel or copper. The burners are generally suspended at the mouth of the balloon, and most balloons have a secondary burner as a backup.

Skin of the Balloon:

The skin of the balloon is created from materials such as nylon, polyester and a few others. They are made to resist tension from both internal and external factors. High altitude flight balloons use polyethylene or polyester film.


The buoyancy of the hot-air balloon is regulated by heating the air in the balloon. Even a degree’s increase in temperature can vary the flight pattern of the balloon in a big way.

When the altitude is changed during a hot air balloon ride, it adjusts according to the air currents. It’s normal for up to 30 degree wind direction difference to occur within the first thousand meters of the flight. However box winds (full circle of wind direction) can occur too. Today’s modern navigation and communication technologies such as GPS, radio and satellite communication allows us to control the flight of a balloon to exact predication and control.

For hot air balloon rides in UK visit http://www.hotair.co.uk/


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