How do Hot Air Balloons Float?
Hot Air Balloons stay in the air because the air inside of the balloon is heated up by a burner. This makes the balloon less dense than the air. Some people say that heat rises in the balloon when, in actuality, it is hot air that rises. This is similar to when you see dirty gray gas moving upward from an industrial smokestack, for example. The gas moves up because the air coming out of the exhaust is hotter than the surrounding air. If you could fit a balloon on the smokestack and seal the sides up, the whole bag would go up and into the air, and would make a tiny hot air balloon.
Ready To Ride?
How Do You Fly a Hot Air Balloon?
Once a Hot Air Balloon is in the air. All that you can control is whether the balloon falls or rises. The balloon rises by turning up the heat in the envelope; you can descend by opening the vent on top that allows cool air to rush in. Now that we have established ascending and descending, how do we steer? To become a master ballooner or impress your guide, you can move sideways by making the balloon fall or rise so that it can catch air currents that are blowing in the direction in which you want to travel in.
Traditional baskets normally use a wicker basket that is placed directly under the envelope and burners. A wicker basket is durable, light, and help absorb impact if the balloon hits the ground fast. The basket is connected to the burners by eight chains or ropes.
A burner is a gas jet fueled by propane cylinders. It’s common to have one or multiple burners. The reason to have one or more is to provide more lift and also in case a burner fails. Also worth noting that extra fuel cylinders are carried outside the basket.
To trap the hot air you need the balloon. Ballooners call this the envelope. The envelope is usually made of a light, durable, and fabric such as nylon. The envelope is made of sections called gores. The gores are sewn together securely so that it creates an airtight balloon that doesn’t leak.