Questions tagged [lighter-than-air]

Aircraft which maintain flight through buoyancy due to their volume weighing less than the surrounding air.

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Lighter than air vs heavier than air?

I know that hydrogen balloon is an example of lighter than air aircraft while today aircraft like helicopters and Boeing 747 are examples of heavier than air aircraft. But I want to know about more ...
DSP_CS's user avatar
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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
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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22 votes
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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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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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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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How feasible is a nuclear powered lighter-than-air vehicle that uses steam as the lifting gas?

An interesting question was asked regarding the use of steam as a lifting gas for lighter-than-air vehicles here: What are pro/cons of steam as lifting gas for airships?. Many of the challenges with ...
Eric Hauenstein's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
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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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Could a airship be built using vacuum as the lighter-than-air “material”? [duplicate]

Could an airship be built that uses instead of a very light gas a vacuum to keep it floating? Or would the materials needed to keep its volume even without the pressure from the inside always be ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How to become Hybrid airship Pilot?

Are Hybrid Airship pilot different from other aircraft or helicopter pilot?
Jay Mehta's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
677 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
14 votes
2 answers
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Are transponders required for hot-air balloons in the US when operating within a Mode C Veil?

I've taken some people flying recently for fun, and they noticed some hot-air balloons and asked me if they had transponders. In San Diego (Southern California) I often see hot air balloons well ...
Canuk's user avatar
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39 votes
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How do you catch a runaway blimp?

A few hours ago, a rather large (243 feet long) helium blimp owned by NORAD broke loose of its moorings in the Eastern United States and floated away. The news is currently reporting that it's being "...
Roddy of the Frozen Peas's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
7k views

Could I build an airship (rigid dirigible) that used a vacuum rather than lifting gas?

There are other questions (c.f. What gas is used in airships to give them buoyancy?) that discuss the use of lifting gasses such as Helium and Hydrogen in airships. Helium is rare and Hydrogen is ...
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What gas is used in airships to give them buoyancy?

In the 1930s Zeppelins used hydrogen as the lighter-than-air gas to fill the envelope and give the ship buoyancy. What kind of gas is used today? Is it still as flammable as the Hydrogen from ...
user3718737's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
945 views

Do lighter-than-air aircraft communicate with ATC?

Do lighter-than-air aircraft communicate with ATC? If not, how do they avoid running into other aircraft?
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8 votes
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What instruments or avionics do balloons usually have?

For normal sightseeing flights in a typical hot air balloon, what instruments or avionics does the pilot usually carry? Do balloons have a minimum equipment list?
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17 votes
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Does adding a motorized fan to a hot air balloon change its class as an aircraft?

I have seen fans like these for use in ballooning and glider propulsion. Does adding one of these change the definition of the flight vehicle? e.g. is it No longer a balloon, but now an aircraft? ...
New Alexandria's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
675 views

How does a pilots license of cluster ballooning differ from other ballooning or unpowered flight?

John Ninomiya discusses his experience with developing this new style of ballooning on his Cluster Ballooning website. Many of the site's links are now broken, but on there he formerly attested that ...
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