Description / Specifications
The Balloon is primarily used for passenger flights.
The vehicle consists of two sections: the buoyant gas-filled envelope and a suspended gondola.
A spherical gas sac constructed from tough heat-resistant fabric and designed to contain buoyant warm air. The envelope is capped by an internal "parachute" that seals a hole in the very top: it is connected to the gondola by hand lines. The bottom of the envelope is open.
- Diameter: 10m.
- Overall Volume: 3,050m³ (218 dTons).
- Unloaded Weight: 100 kg.
The overall volume of the envelope measures its maximum dimensions. The collapsed envelope packs into approximately 6m³.
A lightweight basket constructed from wood and natural materials and suspended below the envelope by ropes.
- Length: 3m, Width: 3m, height 1.5m.
- Overall Volume: 14.4m³ (1.2 dTons).
- Unloaded Weight: 150 kg.
The overall volume of the gondola measures its maximum dimensions.
The 'undercarriage' consists of the flat bottom of the basket and long tethering ropes.
Power / Transmission
A small burner that uses liquid fuel to generate hot air to fill the envelope. The fuel supply is carried in bottles.
- The vehicle is almost silent.
- Takeoff Run: 0m.
- Speed: local wind speed, Stall Speed: 0 kph.
- Direction is controlled by entering an atmospheric layer where the wind is blowing in the desired direction. Ascending or descending into different atmospheric layers allows a course to be followed.
- Duration: 6 hours (typical).
- Maximum Altitude: 1,000m (depending on the local atmosphere type).
- Altitude can be controlled by igniting the burner to heat the air within the envelope to gain height – more rapid ascents may be achieved by releasing ballast. Altitude may be reduced by collapsing the internal parachute to gradually release the buoyant warm air contained within the envelope: the parachute reinflates and seals the hole when the burner is used. The balloon will also gradually descend as the warm air contained within the envelope naturally cools.
- Maximum Lift Capacity: up 950 kg (including its own weight and the weight of anything that is carried aboard the vehicle).
Crew / Passengers
The gondola is open. Up to five people (including the crew) may be carried: there is no set crew position and everybody aboard must stand or sit as best they can. The control system consists of tending the burner and opening the internal parachute as necessary.
Cargo may be carried within the gondola.
- Cargo Storage: up to 8m³ (0.5 dTon). Each passenger carried reduces the available cargo space by 2m³.
- Maximum load: 700 kg (including passengers) before performance is impaired.
Additional disposable ballast, typically bags of sand or gravel hung around the exterior of the gondola. Once these are emptied they must be refilled from an available source.
History / Background
A large lighter-than-air vehicle available in a variety of envelope shapes and color schemes. The density of the local atmosphere dramatically affects vehicle performance.
See also: Flying Craft of the Distant Fringe
References & Contributors / Sources
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