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Hot Air Balloons Research Paper

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Hot Air Balloons Brandon Barclay April 24, 2002 Mr. Craft Eng.IV Research Paper Outline Introduction: Part A: Explains the structure of the hot air balloon Part B: A historical background of the hot air balloon.

Part C: Goes over some the inventions and experiments done with the hot air balloon.

Conclusion: The closing summary of the paper.

Never having left the ground except by water, made the thought of air travel even scarier (Norgaard 21). Man being scared would bet the reason why a duck, a sheep, and a rooster, would become known as the first air travelers in history. The duck, the sheep and the rooster would complete the first travel in one of the first hot air balloons in history, and will have done it safely. Though, before any duck, sheep or rooster, people for years had dreamed of sailing the skies. The two Montgolfier Brothers would make this dream become reality. This t reality was taken in by the average, but explored by the rich, the daring, and the modern day inventor (Garrison 13). The main facts and details of ballooning that will be covered are, the structure and make of the hot air balloon, a brief but factual history of the hot air balloon, and the different experiments and inventions done with the hot air balloon. So what makes the hot air balloon a significant is both unknown to many and is quite a interesting topic. The history and information to be explained here all started with a little hot air.

The knowledge of how the hot air balloon works and the structure of the hot air balloon is important to know for a better understanding of the history. For example ?Balloons are aerostats (static within the air)-once a balloon is aloft it moves in sync with the air mass in which it afloats? (www.balloonzone.com). In a balloon the balloon will become cooler as it gets higher, making it harder to keep the balloon air warm, in essence making the burner work harder (Garrison 14). The burner is also known as the heart of the balloon and is usually rigged on a rigid brace over the pilot?s head, which is controlled by hand (www.balloonzone.com). Without the envelope the balloon would be nothing. The envelope was the first part of the balloon to go in the air.

The envelope made its first flight without the use of a hand burner, or even a gondola. The envelope is the colorful balloon part that is sewn into many patterns, usually geometric designs or custom shapes (www.balloonzone.com). The basket underneath the envelope started at the beginning of time when the Montgolfier brothers suspended a metal cage underneath the balloon to try and make balloon travel possible. For example metal cages were used with the rooster, the duck and the sheep, which will be explained later in detail (Garrison 13). The metal cage idea become to heavy, and wasn?t good for long travel or very durability. So that?s why balloonists created the whickered basket, which are usually referred to as the gondola. Weaved vertically tight for resistance against entanglements in trees and power lines the gondolas have both strength and flexibility (www.balloonzone.com).

The last of the structural elements there?s the rip flap. Ballooning at one time consisted of a dangerous landing do to high winds filling the balloon dragging it along the ground. The rip flap, plays a major part in ballooning because it is used to deflate the balloon the second it hits the ground, or whenever the pilot needs the balloon to be deflated (Norgaard 55). Many would consider the balloon to be something that if owned, could just be flown. This is not true, ?balloons are aircraft regulated under the same federal aviation regulations as ever other category of air traveling devices? (www.balloonzone.com). So one can see that the balloon is not only made of materials, but is made of rules and regulations as well. These important structural aspects play a vital role in the make up of the balloon and shouldn?t be forgotten, for they will help as a guide in explaining meanings of words throughout this research paper.

In the fall of 1782 in the Town of Annonoy, near Lynnanas France, two brothers launched the first hot air balloon in history. The two brothers given full credit for the launching of this balloon are known as Joseph Michael and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier, or the Montgolfier Brothers. As the brothers heated a homemade balloon over an open fire, they witnessed their first balloon float higher and higher into the air (Garrison 13). On June 5, 1783 they constructed a linen balloon thirty-three and a half feet in diameter, as the brothers and their attracted audience watched their balloon reach great heights they were astonished. The brothers knew as well as everyone watching that they had created something great and that this great device would make their names go down in history (13). Shortly after they having launched a couple of balloons, they decided that if possible the balloon could create a way for man to fly. Sailing was one thing that had been explored, but the open sky had been unexplored by man, making the thought of air travel even scarier.

Later the Montgolfier brothers would insure that man could safely travel into the open skies. They had repeated their experiment in front of the Queen and King of France, except this time the brothers suspended a cage below the envelope that carried travelers of a sheep, a rooster, and a duck, which became known as the first aviation travelers in history (13-14). As stated before, man had never left the land except by water. The thought of leaving the ground scared people because of what the air might hold (Norgaard 21).

They knew with the sheep, the rooster and the duck that the skies were somewhat safe and so, Barely a month after the sheep, rooster and duck made aviation history, Jean Francis Filatere de Rozier became the first the first human to fly? (Garrison 13). Now that Jean Francis had flown, other people such as photographers would become interested in the possibility of what they could capture from the heights of a hot air balloon. A man by the name of Felix Nadar became the first Aerial photographer, taking and selling several pictures of Paris (Norgaard 51). These are all known facts, which play a major role in aviation history. These courageous and smart men opened up and freed the mind of inventors who would create flying contraptions even greater than the hot air balloon.

Many different experiments came from the man made flying machine, the balloon, such experiments that would create a wealth of knowledge for the expansion of other man made flying machine. When the Montgolfier brothers lifted off the first balloon they probably never thought of airplanes, parachutes, or even that man could or would ever walk on the moon. All of the experiments that took place created a very interesting historical foundation and one hardly thinks of the hot air balloon as being the starting point of air aviation. Even though balloons were the starting point of air aviation, it doesnt stop at the plain old balloon. An example of an experiment that went beyond hot air was the first casualties from ballooning occur when a hybrid gas/hot-air balloon piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and his passenger, one M. Romaine catches fire and explodes while attempting an English Channel crossing. Today, hybrid balloons (using a combination of gas and hot air lift) are known as Roziers? (www.unicornballoons.com).

From hydrogen balloons to parachutes, people were trying everything. For instance, on July of 1837, Mr. Cocking made the first parachute descent from a hot air balloon. Unfortunately his wooden framed parachute broke and he fell to his death (www.bris.uk). Though Mr. Cooking wasn?t the inventor of the parachute, a man by the name of Jacques Garnerin was responsible for the creation of the parachute. Mr. Cocking is credited for making the first decent from a balloon, which gave him a spot in history (wsww.bris.uk). Although some great experiments were devastating, these attempts were a necessary step into the future. All great experiments arent listed here, but it did seem appropriate to talk about some of the less fatal experiments, such as rows used for steering and paddling through the air.

Even though they were ruled ineffective they are still important to remember because they were an example of how people were trying different methods to try and moving throughout the air (www.bris.uk). The last invention that is credited here is when inventors placed a battery of eight cameras equidistant around the perimeter of the gondola to simultaneously photograph large sections of the area under surveillance, thus creating the use of air flight for mapping (Garrison 14). All of these little experiments play an important role in the information and technology that we posses today.

The structural elements will improve over time, but this paper will still serve as a general knowledge base for those you seek quick reference to the broad generalization of the hot air balloon. Allowing the reader to one day look up into the sky and see not a roster, a sheep, or a duck but human beings floating in the sky in a little whickered basket. When the name Montgolfier comes up in a conversation hopefully the reader of this paper will still remember that those were the guys who invented this wonderful flying contraption. Now looking into the sky and seeing a hot air balloon won?t only be something for the kids to marvel at, but someone who is interested in history or just taken away by the beauty of the envelope.

Works Cited

An Abbreviated History. Balloon Zone. 3/27/02 (http://www.balloonzone.com/history.html).

?A Background of the Hot Air Balloon.? Balloon Background. 4/10/02.


Garrison, Paul The Encyclopedia of Hot Air Balloons. New York: Drake Publishers 1978.

?History of Ballooning.? Bristol University Hot Air Ballooning Society. 3/7/02.


?History of Hot Air Ballooning.? UnicornBalloon.com. 3/28/02.

(http://www.unicornballoon.com/balloon_history.html). Nogaard Erik The Book of Balloons. New York: Crown Publisers, 1970.

?The History of the Hot Air Balloon.? Hot Air Balloons. 3/27/02.


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