How are Hot Air Balloons Manufactured?

Drifting above the earth in a Napa hot air balloon is the dream of almost everyone who has seen the graceful creations in the air. The drama of seeing one is remarkable, and beholding many of them at once is spectacular. Hot air balloon Napa, California attracts enthusiasts who enjoy a ride that provides breathtaking views.

Three main parts are required in the manufacture of a hot air balloon though the colorful part, the envelope, is the most noticeable. The basket is the part that holds the passengers, and the burner produces the heat to make the balloon rise.

Making the Balloon or Envelope

Two panels of rip stop, a fire-resistant nylon, make up one gore, a sewing term for a piece of material that is wider at the bottom than at the top. A balloon uses 24 gores that are stitched and taped at the seams to distribute the weight of the vessel for safety and to extend the life of a balloon. A coating of polyurethane protects the material from damaging sun rays and also serves to make it retain hot air.

A deflation port at the top stays closed during flight unless the pilot pulls a red rip line that immediately releases the hot air. A ventilation port on the side allows the pilot to control how rapidly a balloon rises or descends. Hot air balloon Napa, California provides rides that thrill new passengers every year.

Building the Basket

A tubular frame supports a basket that is made of wicker, the traditional material that is familiar to the crowds that go to Napa for a balloon ride; aluminum and fiberglass are also used as basket materials. The frame supports the burner that is located directly above the basket, and it provides stability for the aircraft.

Square or rectangular baskets are the most common, though triangle shapes are available. An advantage of using wicker for the construction of the basket is that it acts like a shock absorber when the aircraft lands.

Powering the Balloon

A burner provides the heated air that makes a balloon airborne and maneuverable. A pilot light ensures immediate access to heat, and a pilot can use a blast valve to control the amount of fuel that enters the burner. The heat that comes out of a burner in one hour is enough to warm more than a hundred average homes.