Hot Air Balloon
How does a hot air balloon work?
  • A hot air balloon is like a normal balloon only itís usually made mostly out of nylon instead of rubber.
  • The lower part of the balloon is usually made from a special fabric called Nomex which is flame resistant (won't catch alight easily)
  • Once the hot air balloon is inflated using a large fan, the air inside gets heated with a propane burner. Heated air rises so it makes the balloon rise.
  • Heated air expands and takes up less space than cool air so the air inside the balloon is lighter than the air outside the balloon.
  • You donít actually steer a balloon you have to go where the wind takes you.
  • By increasing the temperature of the air in the balloon, maintaining it, or letting it cool, the balloon pilot is able to climb higher, fly level, or descend (drop lower).
  • When the balloon needs to land, a vent at the top is opened to let some of the air out.
  Did You Know?
  • Most balloon flights are between 500 and 1000 feet above the ground. But balloons can fly at treetop level or go much higher.
  • The best time to fly a balloon is just after sunrise and one or two hours before sunset. This is the time of day when winds are usually the calmest and the air is most stable.
  • The first hot air balloon trip was made in 1783 by a sheep a duck and a rooster! The second trip was made by the people who sent the animals up on the first trip and they were the Montgolfier brothers of France.
Next time you have a helium balloon do some investigating. Find out how much of a load it will lift. Will it lift one paper clip or two? Does it matter how big the balloon is?
If a friend has a helium balloon too tie them both together and find out how much they will lift together.

Helium is a gas that is lighter than air so thatís why a helium balloon rises.
Take a balloon into the pool with you next time you go swimming and try holding it under the water. What happens? Air is lighter than water so the balloon will rocket up and out of the water. What pool toys and equipment do you have that are filled with air like this?
Why did the chatterbox rise into the air?
They were full of hot air

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