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.

Hot Air Ballooning - Flame On
Hot Air Ballooning - Flame On

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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