How To control a hot air balloon

Essay by shariq1992High School, 11th gradeA-, January 2009

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A hot air balloon is made up of three main parts:The Envelope: The actual fabric balloon that holds the air.

The Burner: The unit which propels the heat up inside the envelope.

The Basket: Where the passenger and pilot stand.

The way hot air balloons work, falls under basic scientific principles.

The basis of how the balloon works is that warmer air rises in cool air, because hot air is lighter than cool air, as it has less mass per unit volume.

Mass is defined by the measure of how much matter something contains, and the actual balloon (called an envelope) has to be as large as it takes such a large amount of heated air to lift it off the ground. For an example, to lift 1000 pounds worth of weight, you would need approximately 65,000 cubic feet of heated air.

To keep the hot air balloon in the air and rising, hot air needs to be propelled upwards into the envelope, which is done with the use of the burners.

The burner uses propane gas to heat up the air in the envelope to move the balloon off the ground and into the air. The burners have two basic controls; a blast value, and a regulator. The pilot must keep firing the burner at regular intervals throughout the flight to ensure that the balloon continues to be stable. The hot air will not escape from the hole at the very bottom of the envelope, as hot air rises, and the buoyancy keeps it moving up.

Steps to control a hot air balloon:1. To move the balloon upwards: the pilot opens up the propane valve which lets the propane flow to the burner, which in turn fires the flame up into the envelope. It works the same...