Facts About Hot Air BallooningBy Dominic Donaldson
If there is one thing you should try before you die, it has to be hot air ballooning. Perfect for those that want to try something interesting but aren't too keen on skydiving or bungee. The air balloon trip can be a peaceful chance to see the earth from a different angle but without having to fall. Here in this article we shall look at some facts about ballooning and why it is so popular.
First off, before you even consider getting into an air balloon you may want to know what the balloon is made of and what is going to be carrying you into the skies. Hot air balloons are usually made from a rip-stop nylon or polyester fabric, much like the fabric of a parachute. Inside of the balloon the material is coated with a silicone material to ensure that no air leaks through. The material is very lightweight and the first three panels of the balloon are coated in Nomex, which is a fire retardant- for those feeling worried.
Air balloons are powered by Liquid Petroleum Gas, which is the same gas you may put in your barbeque in the summer, it is usually a mix of propane, butane and other gases. A lot of people wonder why the wicker basket is still used today, but this is mainly because it is ideal. The wicker is lightweight, strong, and flexible and looks beautiful next to the balloon-so it will probably always be used.
Hot air balloons fly as the hot air rises, hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air so it tends to float above colder air. A burner is used to heat the air inside of the balloon until it is a higher temperature than the air on the outside of it. Once this happens then the balloon begins to rise but if you want to descend then the air temperature inside needs to cool off slightly. Gas balloons are the same except that they use helium gas and is more dense so lighter than air, so creates the same effect.
When going hot air ballooning, you will go with a trained pilot. Like any other aviation activity there are strict rules and regulations that need to be applied. Just like captains of planes, hot balloon pilots undergo medicals and balloons are inspected every 100 hours to ensure that they are airworthy and completely safe. If you are considering going for a flight, if you have any concerns then it's well worth speaking directly to your pilot.
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Facts About Hot Air Ballooning.