Hot Air Balloon

The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology. It is in a class of aircraft known as balloon aircraft. On November 21, 1783, in Annonay, France, the first untethered manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes in a hot air balloon created on December 14, 1782 by the Montgolfier brothers. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than just being pushed along by the wind are known as airships or, more specifically, thermal airships.

A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule), which carries passengers and (usually) a source of heat, in most cases an open flame. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In today's sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex. Beginning in the mid-1970s, balloon envelopes have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of commercial products, though the traditional shape remains popular for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.

Read more about Hot Air BalloonConstruction, Safety Equipment, Maintenance and Repair, Licensing, Accidents and Incidents, Manufacturers

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Famous quotes containing the words air balloon, balloon, hot and/or air:

    After us they’ll fly in hot air balloons, coat styles will change, perhaps they’ll discover a sixth sense and cultivate it, but life will remain the same, a hard life full of secrets, but happy. And a thousand years from now man will still be sighing, “Oh! Life is so hard!” and will still, like now, be afraid of death and not want to die.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904)

    When I am on a stage, I am the focus of thousands of eyes and it gives me strength. I feel that something, some energy, is flowing from the audience into me. I actually feel stronger because of these waves. Now when the play’s done, the eyes taken away, I feel just as if a circuit’s been broken. The power is switched off. I feel all gone and empty inside of me—like a balloon that’s been pricked and the air’s let out.
    Lynn Fontanne (1887–1983)

    Good-night to the Season!—the dances,
    The fillings of hot little rooms,
    The glancings of rapturous glances,
    The fancyings of fancy costumes;
    The pleasures which Fashion makes duties,
    The praisings of fiddles and flutes,
    The luxury of looking at beauties,
    The tedium of talking to mutes;
    Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802–1839)

    Only the gaunt fierce bird
    Flies, merciless with fear
    Lest air hold him not,
    Beats up the scaffold of space
    Sick of the world’s rot
    God’s hideous face.
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)