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Questions tagged [balloon]

A lighter-than-air aircraft without its own means of propulsion, typically filled with helium, hydrogen, or hot air.

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In a hot air balloon what proportion of the lift comes from the heated air compared to that from the combustion products?

A hot air balloon is heated with propane or similar hydrocarbon. One of the products of combustion is H2O with molar mass 18 so it is substantially less dense than air (78% nitrogen, molar mass 28 and ...
Ken Mercer's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Danger for hot air balloon if someone jumps out

I recently saw a video that I believe was filmed in Turkey where a skydiver was prevented from jumping out of a hot air balloon by the operator/pilot. Man tries to jump out of a hot air balloon (...
SDH's user avatar
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1 answer
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What are the risks to balloon flights in IMC, other than mid-air collision?

What are the risks to a balloon that enters IMC conditions? Mid-air collision with other IFR traffic seems obvious. What are the other risks? It seems like losing control because of losing track of ...
Azendale's user avatar
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1 answer
135 views

How often do weather balloons drift outside country borders?

The Chinese balloon incident made me wonder how many high altitude balloons have drifted outside their own country border. It seems weird that a lot of weather balloons suddenly drifted into other ...
R3G3N3R4T0R's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
543 views

Is there any way to bring down a large spy balloon without force?

This might seem like a silly question, but I mean it. A Chinese spy balloon recently flew over the US and was taken down with a missile. Apparently, it was very important to recover its payload safely,...
albertoeda's user avatar
36 votes
6 answers
42k views

If a balloon lies within gun range, why would a 21st century warplane shoot it with a missile, instead of rotary guns?

I am not necessarily referring to current events, but you can if you want. Presuppose a balloon is within altitude, and range, of the guns of a warplane made in the 2000's. Particularly if a military ...
User's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

To what extent is modern "maneuverable spy balloonery" really a thing?

There's a high altitude balloon in the news recently. It seems to have come from the Pacific, passed over Canada and is now over the US. I don't have any official tracking data but notional ...
uhoh's user avatar
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What other times has a Chinese high-altitude balloon entered US airspace?

In an AP news article there's a quote from a politician stating: “This is not the first time a Chinese balloon has entered American airspace over sensitive national security areas,” Daines said in a ...
David Eugene Pratt's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
203 views

Would a sealed hot air balloon get more lifting at 20km+ of altitude?

So, the record altitude for a manned helium balloon is 40 km/25 miles/131234 feet, while the record altitude for a manned hot air balloon is 21 km/13 miles/68897,6 feet. My guess is since the hot air ...
Fulano's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
124 views

The weather balloon began to bounce less as it entered the stratosphere

We launched a weather balloon where one of the sensors was an accelerometer. The data from it show all parts of the flight (1 launch (0 m), 3 bursts of the balloon (35,800 m), 4 landing (0 M)). We ...
Saturn V's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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What would it take for a balloon to reach the thermosphere?

So far the altitude record for a balloon is BU-60-1's 173,900 ft (53 km). What would it take to reach the thermosphere, i.e. more than ~280,000 ft? How likely is it that eventually one day a (hydrogen ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
170 views

What were the atmospheric models in the 19th century and early 20th century like, compared to the present-day ISA?

Atmospheric pressure has been used to determine the altitude a pilot (or a mountain climber as well) is at since the beginning of the age of ballooning. I find the following Wikipedia excerpt about ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
45 views

How is the strength of the material needed in an LTA balloon estimated?

What are the main factors that determine how much load is put on the material/how strong it has to be? On the one hand I read how balloon fabrics even on smallest piloted hot air balloons are advanced ...
wusspuss's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why do balloons no longer have nets?

In this 1944 documentary it is claimed that a netted balloon would work as a parachute when torn, other sources seem to confirm that. Disadvantages are not mentioned, nor can I think of any. Yet it ...
wusspuss's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
150 views

How much thrust can a balloon generate with wings?

I have heard that some balloons have been made with wings, angled such that they generate some forward thrust during the ascent. Balloons can also theoretically generate thrust with wings during a ...
Nail's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
162 views

How useful were the wings and tail of Jean-Pierre Blanchard's balloon?

In 1784, Jean-Pierre Blanchard fitted a hand-powered propeller to a balloon, the first recorded means of propulsion carried aloft. In 1785, he crossed the English Channel in a balloon equipped with ...
Nail's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
114 views

Is dirigible cluster ballooning feasible? [closed]

Has steerable cluster ballooning with a propeller and fins/stabilizers of some sort ever been attempted? If not, would it really make sense at all, and what would the challenges be, as compared to a ...
wusspuss's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How are weather balloons different from "regular" big latex balloons?

If I search the internet for "weather balloon" I get much higher prices than if I just look for "big balloon". Just to compare these two listings in particular: this \$320 weather ...
wusspuss's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
973 views

When was the last commercial hot air balloon fatality in the UK?

When was the last commercial hot air balloon fatality in the UK?
Cloud's user avatar
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Can the holder of only a Commerical Balloon pilot certificate conduct the ground training for a "Flight Review" for Airplane only rated pilots?

In the U.S., since there is not a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating for "lighter-than-air" category pilots, someone who holds only a Commercial Balloon pilot certificate can provide ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
186 views

Is a balloon's record altitude measured from the top of canopy, the bottom of the basket, or some other point?

I wonder where exactly on the balloon is its altitude measured. By the time a space balloon reaches its maximum altitude it is extremely large, the higher the larger. The record altitude for a balloon ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

When did Piccard reach his record altitude of 23 km (75,500 ft)?

Swiss physicist and balloonist Auguste Piccard reached world altitude records of 15.8 km (51,800 ft) in May 1931 and 16.2 km (53,000 ft) in August 1932, accompanied by Paul Kipfer in the former and by ...
Giovanni's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
249 views

Do the soaring and/or ballooning communities in the US recommend 123.5 as the preferred frequency for air-to-air and air-to-ground use?

Does the soaring community (e.g. the Soaring Society of America) or the ballooning community in the US recommend 123.5 as the preferred frequency for air-to-air and air-to-ground use by glider pilots ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
862 views

Does the FAA or FCC recommend 123.5 as the preferred frequency for air-to-air and air-to-ground use by glider pilots or balloon pilots?

Does the FAA or FCC recommend 123.5 as the preferred frequency for air-to-air and air-to-ground use by glider pilots or balloon pilots speaking to other glider or balloon pilots or ground support crew,...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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0 votes
5 answers
648 views

What determines the maximum ground speed of hot air balloons?

I am wondering how the ground speed of hot air balloons is controlled. The wind is obviously going to have a large influence upon the ground speed, but apart from wind effects, do hot air balloons ...
Flux's user avatar
  • 403
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are manned balloons allowed to land anywhere?

From time to time, quite spectacular videos turn up from hot air balloons landing in unusual or even quite tight spots, such as on a soccer field in Vlijmen, on a road in Nijkerk, or even on a small ...
SQB's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
548 views

What would happen if a hot air ballooon was punctured in mid-air?

I am writing a script for a film where a hot air balloon is punctured and it falls to the ground. There are two teenagers in the balloon when it is in the air. What I would like to know is how fast ...
Katherine's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
5k views

What are pro/cons of steam as lifting gas for airships?

I was reading Wikipedia page about hot air airship and another Wikipedia page about the first powered and steerable airship which was powered by a steam engine. So I ask myself "why didn't they ...
Manu H's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
392 views

Does aircraft/ATC get any information directly from a weather balloon?

We have been launching radiosonde (a meteorological instrument containing GPS and other sensors to measure meteorological variables attached to a balloon filled with Hydrogen) to obtain meteorological ...
RogUE's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
1 answer
234 views

What happened with the balloons of project Excelsior?

After the flight to the ISS yesterday I am reading more stuff about mankind in the universe. Reading about the Excelsior project makes me wonder what happened with the helium balloon after Joseph ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
265 views

Does the FAA construe FAR 91.225 to prohibit aircraft w/o electrical systems w/o ADS-B-out from flying above 10,000' MSL unless below 2500' AGL?

For airspace within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia: For aircraft originally certificated without engine-driven electrical systems (and not subsequently certified with such a ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
84 views

Detection of solar balloons by ATC primary surveillance radar [duplicate]

I am curious whether a 30 cubic meter solar balloon made of black nylon and filled with ambient air would be detectable by the primary radar used by ATC in Continental Europe. Due to its size and ...
Sasha's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
1 answer
188 views

Identify a balloon accident in the 90s or 2000s [closed]

I recall hearing about a balloon accident on a news programme on TV in the 90s or 2000s. From memory it was some sort of record attempt, and the last telemetry from the flight indicated that the ...
user's user avatar
  • 681
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Hot air balloon toilet?

I have never been in Hot air balloon But today I was wondering, what if someone in Hot air balloon wanted to pee? how will they do it?? if there are no toilets in there, can they just do it from ...
asmgx's user avatar
  • 173
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

How do balloon pilots avoid birdstrikes?

Balloons, by their very nature, are at the mercy of the wind, and can’t maneuver out of the way of other objects except by (very slowly) climbing or descending. For this reason, mid-air collisions ...
Vikki's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
316 views

What lights to use for a high-altitude weather balloon?

I am designing a high-altitude weather balloon for a college project. The balloon may fly at night, which means that, per FAA regulations, I need a light that is visible for 5 miles. Does anyone ...
Timothy Barrett's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
339 views

Why does the FAA mandate a temperature indicator for all manned balloons?

14CFR31.85 ("Required Basic Equipment" for manned free-air balloons) requires an Envelope Temperature Indicator (ETI). This is a requirement of the FAA, not necessarily the manufacturer. Some balloon ...
LTAPilot's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does it cost to get a hot air balloon to 30,000ft?

I'm interested to know what it would take to get a hot air balloon, with a 600lb load, to 30,000 feet. Is this cheaper than flying a plane with a similar load to the same altitude? If a special ...
M28's user avatar
  • 2,459
2 votes
1 answer
657 views

Are these ballast bags for a hot air balloon?

While driving around on the back side of Aspen Mountain (so up around 10,000 feet altitude) we came upon these bags of ash. They look like they could be opened up on the bottom to let the contents ...
Betty Crokker's user avatar
27 votes
3 answers
7k views

How do hot air balloons navigate?

Hot air balloons are quite obviously carried along with the wind, so how can they be navigated? Choosing the correct launch point relative to the desired landing point would seem to play a major part ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
680 views

Is it possible to build a honeycombed vacuum balloon? [closed]

Is it possible to build a vacuum balloon with a near perfect void that can lift heavy objects and doesn't collapse and buckle under the atmosphere? I expect perhaps a honeycombed or lorimerlite ...
Pecos's user avatar
  • 21
3 votes
1 answer
245 views

Are there any locations where I could launch a rockoon with minimal red tape?

I'm currently working on a research project on hypersonic control surfaces, and as part of it, I'd like to launch a rocket-assisted lifting body from a high-altitude balloon. Are there any locations ...
Eric Pillai's user avatar
52 votes
3 answers
23k views

How do hot air balloon pilots avoid collisions?

There are many places in the world where hundreds of hot air balloons are flown in close proximity to each other. How do the pilots steer them away from each other to avoid mid-air collisions? Wind ...
Hanky Panky's user avatar
  • 6,011
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it legal for a balloon to land at a US international airport?

Assuming the winds directed a hot air balloon near a US international airport, and the pilot has no other choice than landing, say near the runways/taxiways, would they face legal trouble/fines?
Daniel Offerman's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
681 views

If unable to procure Helium, are there any regulations against filling lighter than air craft with Hydrogen instead?

The price of helium is going up again, and it is very difficult to find suppliers without established contracts. If all possible safety measures are taken, are there still regulations by FAA or other ...
0tyranny0poverty's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
467 views

How to fill out IFR flight plan for manned helium balloon flight into class A airspace with no predetermined route or destination and less crew?

Per FAA regulations, an IFR flight plan must be filed before going above 18,000 feet MSL as this is class A airspace. How do we fill out the IFR flight plan if the destination landing site and the ...
0tyranny0poverty's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
585 views

Do FAA sectional charts show all power/transmission lines?

The FAA's sectional aeronautical charts include some power/transmission lines. How complete is this? I am specifically interested in using something like ForeFlight for aeronautical charts while hot ...
Bob Jones Sr.'s user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is it technically possible to have nuclear-powered hot-air balloons?

Could a balloon use non-fissile isotope, like Pu-238, to heat air in the envelope to stay afloat for years? let's put political and health related problems aside, and consider if it's technically ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 1,327
1 vote
2 answers
400 views

Can balloons be stacked in a climable daisy chain to the edge of space? [closed]

How high can a balloon/s be and still be tethered to the ground? The most common problem was finding the calmest place on Earth. The longest balloon chain is 20 km Pictures below are basic ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are weather balloon launches NOTAM'ed?

Are weather balloon launches NOTAM'ed? Related, how frequent (periodically and spatially) are they for gathering data on wind-aloft, etc.?
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