Using a fan to fill the
balloon with air!
Heating the air in the balloon to get the balloon to
stand up for flight.
As the air is heated the balloon begins to stand up!
Ready to go!
Yes at one time Capt Thompson had the entire cast of the
Television show Coach in his basket!
Pictured Below are Capt. Jeff
Thompson's Mother and Father (Jim and Connie) as well as Nephew Tyler and
So you think
your ready to go?
About the Aircraft.
So, How do we get one in the
First thing we
will need is a place to launch our balloon.
We are going to need a large field to lay out the balloon. Field??
Wait... What field where???
Where we begin, determines greatly where we will
land. Balloons only go with the wind so it
would be a good idea to start upwind of someplace to land because we will
have to land sometime! We will explain more about this when you come
and fly with us. But for now lets just say we have a launch field.
we must assemble the aircraft. We have to
connect the envelope to the bottom end.
Now that we have the envelope hooked to the
bottom end it is time to inflate the balloon. No we just cant turn on the burners
and go. We would melt large holes in our balloon and then we would
be leaking hot air all over the sky and that would not be pretty. We need
a really big fan. We use the fan to fill the balloon with air. Once the envelope is filled with air we
can use the burners to heat the air. This will make the balloon
Once the balloon is upright we have a few final
flight checks and we are on our way.
Commercial passenger carrying balloons are more
commonly referred to as Ride Balloons.
The Thompson Aire
ride balloons are equipped with Twin Burners. These burners are amazingly
powerful and efficient. Each burner is rated at 15,000,000 BTU.
Yes that is fifteen MILLION. One burner has the same power as 120
home furnaces going full blast. No you wont be cold
in a HOT air balloon... Each burner has its own fuel supply and a
pilot can fly the balloon with either or both burners quite easily. This is just one of the redundant safety features of
a modern hot air balloon.
Lets talk about the instruments onboard.
The FAA requires each balloon to have three basic instruments onboard each
is a VSI Or a Variometer.
stands for Vertical Speed Indicator. This tells the pilot if he is
going up or down and how fast. This instrument comes in quite
Two, is an altimeter.
is provided by the manufacture of the balloon and can also be set to
indicate barometric pressure.
Three, is a temperature
indicates the internal temperature of the top of the balloon.
Remember you can only heat the air so much before you begin to damage
So you think you're
ready to fly???
Not YET!!! There are other items the
pilots may need and carry onboard.
A Radio to talk to the ground
A GPS to track flight path
Igniters to re-light the
Ok Now we are ready for liftoff. But how
do you fly these things after all?
*Note, As a passenger you don't want to forget your
camera and extra film!
On to the next page