Hot air balloon


August 14, 2022

A hot air balloon is one of the lighter-than-air aircrafts and is the first means by which a person was able to rise into the air. It consists of a package, a textile part that is filled with hot air and develops the necessary buoyancy, then a basket for the crew, a burner that heats the air in the package, and fuel bottles (propane or a mixture of propane and butane, also LPG).


According to some sources, the first European hot air balloon was the Passarola, which was launched by Bartolomeu de Gusmão in Portugal in 1709. Traditionally, the world's beginning of balloon flying is considered to be June 5, 1783, when the first hot air balloon of the brothers took off from Annonay (in the department of Ardèche) in France Montgolfier (Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques Étienne Mongolfier) ​​with "passengers" (a ram, a duck and a rooster) on board. Their return proved that there are no poisonous gases in the atmosphere and thus opened up flying for human crews. The first were Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes, who took off on November 21, 1783, starting the era of air travel. The first Italian Paolo Andreoni took off in a montgolfiera in 1784 in the Lombard town of Brugherio. Tadeáš Haenke was the first in Bohemia to launch an unmanned hot air balloon in 1784. In Moravia, the hot air balloon took off two years later, in the castle park in Židlochovice, at the instigation of Marie Kristina from Ditrichštejn, who was a court lady of the empress in Vienna, and therefore invited many guests to the celebration from the Viennese court. The first manned Montgolfier took off in Bohemia in 1790. Hot-air balloons were gradually replaced by light gas balloons, which had the disadvantage of its explosiveness and flammability. The notorious Kysibelka Balloon, which served as an advertisement at the Jubilee Exhibition in Prague in 1891, crashed 10 minutes after takeoff. Balloons and airships developed more or less successfully for a century before being supplanted by heavier-than-air aircraft. Recreational ballooning was revived in the 1970s, and is still used for recreation and advertising. Record: The first successful circumnavigation of the Earth in a hot air balloon was completed on March 21, 1999 by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones.



The packaging is the basic part of the balloon. It is made of a special polyester or polyamide (also nylon) fabric, which is replaced by a non-flammable nomex fabric in the lower part near the burner. The strength of the package is increased by the supporting straps, which continue under the package with steel cables on which the basket is suspended. In the upper part of the package there is a paravalve (also parachute from the English parachute), a closable opening for releasing excess hot air to start the balloon's descent. The paravalve can be replaced by a device for rapid air release (Smart VentTM or similar design). It can also be equipped with a rotary valve on the side, which causes the balloon to rotate in the air by releasing air in a directional manner (does not control the direction of flight). The package size can be from 600 m3 to 17000 m3, the normal size for the pilot + 4 passengers is 3000 m3.


It carries the crew, fuel bottles, instruments, etc. It is made of rattan, has a steel frame and wooden floor, there is a step on the side for easy boarding, the upper edge is padded and upholstered in leather for the comfort and protection of the passengers. The basket can also be equipped with a door for easier entry.


It ensures the heating of the air in the package. Burns propane or LPG. It usually consists of two separate units (can be 1 to 5), each with a power of approximately 3 MW.

Fuel Bottles

Gas cylinders made of stainless steel (also titanium, previously also aluminum) contain a supply of fuel for the flight. They are produced in sizes from 40 to 80 liters, normally