Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Hot Air Balloons Fly?
In a hot air balloon, a gas burner is used to heat the air to a temperature of about 100°C (212°F). Since hot air is lighter and less dense than the cool air around the balloon, the heated air causes the whole balloon to rise. When the air inside the balloon cools down, or when the hot air is let out, the balloon goes down.
Why Do Flights Take Place So Early In the Morning?
Balloons need stable winds to operate effectively and the hours just following sunrise are the best for finding these winds. Since balloons move with the air, the weather is very important in deciding whether or not to fly. The pilot chooses a launch site to use the wind currents to fly to a suitable landing site.
What Kind of Material is the Balloon Made of ?
The envelope is usually made of nylon or polyester, the same type of fabric parachutes are made of. It is very tightly woven and is coated with a material that makes it airtight. The nylon is only used to keep the hot air in the balloon. The basket load is transferred by steel or Kevlar cables to a series of vertical load tapes, which carry the load.
Why is the Basket Made of Wicker?
The wicker basket has proven to be very strong for its weight and is flexible. The wicker is sometimes woven around a steel or aluminum frame, which helps to support the upright posts upon which the burner is mounted. The top rim of the basket and the uprights are usually padded and covered in suede or leather. Also the weight is critical in balloon flying, the baskets are made of light materials such as wicker, fiberglass or aluminium.
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