Hot Air Ballooning

Recently I attended a balloon ascension event at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD.  Arriving at 6:00 am on a chilly Saturday morning there were very few people in attendance which provided the opportunity to stake out a nice vantage point. Spotting a few trailers on the grounds, the issue was settled. Let the unloading begin... a basket is assembled.

Hot Air Ballooning - Basket
Hot Air Ballooning - Basket

Next, the unpacking of the actual balloon.

Hot Air Ballooning - Unpacking
Hot Air Ballooning - Unpacking

After unpacking all of that canvas, it's time to stretch it out and prepare to inflate.

Hot Air Ballooning - All Stretched Out
Hot Air Ballooning - All Stretched Out

The fan in the image above is what starts the inflation process. It may look like an ordinary house fan but this is a very powerful unit, the results of which you'll see below.

Hot Air Ballooning - Partially Inflated
Hot Air Ballooning - Partially Inflated

Let's have an inside look.

Hot Air Ballooning - Inside Look
Hot Air Ballooning - Inside Look

The small fan has done a nice job of getting things started but now come the heat, what hot air ballooning is all about.

This torch (not sure of it's proper name) is powered by propane and produces a tremendous amount of hot air which causes the balloon to rise as seen in the next image.

Hot Air Ballooning - Rising up
Hot Air Ballooning - Rising up

The end result...

Hot Air Ballooning - Fully Inflated
Hot Air Ballooning - Fully Inflated

a fully inflated hot air balloon. As you can see the balloon is tethered, which was a disappointment. Someone told me that the launch window had been missed so they had to stay near the ground, offering rides to several hundred feet. I had envisioned a mass ascension, and although there were quite a few balloons at the event, that did not occur.

I have many images of the others, which we will save for some future posts.

We will close out with this airborne shot.

Hot Air Ballooning - Airborne
Hot Air Ballooning - Airborne

The white spot in the left frame is a half moon. I also removed the tether lines, which really cluttered this shot.

Yes, this post was full of hot air but I hope you enjoyed the ride. :-)

Thanks for clicking by!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
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