Hot air balloon

Hot air balloon

A hot air balloon is a balloon aircraft which is lifted by hot air.



hot-air balloon, balloon, lift, aviation, gondola, gas burner, gas laws, rising, floating, descending, gravity, mechanics, force, thermodynamics, physics

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Hot air balloon

Forces and thermal conditions

  • rising - buoyant force > weight
  • floating - buoyant force = weight
  • descent - buoyant force < weight
  • buoyant force - It is equal to the weight of the air displaced by the balloon.
  • weight - This is the force of gravity acting on the total mass of the hot air balloon. It points towards the Earth's centre of mass. The buoyant force must be greater than the weight of the aircraft to lift it.
  • rigid frame - The basket is attached to the bottom of the frame (or directly woven onto it), while the envelope is attached to the top with steel cables.


  • basket - Also called a gondola, it is usually made of woven wicker or rattan as these materials are lightweight but strong and durable.
  • load tapes (vertical)
  • load tapes (horizontal)
  • envelope - It is made from non-elastic materials thus its size does not change when being filled with hot air.
  • gas burner - It burns propane gas to heat the air in the envelope. There are at least 2 burners in a hot air balloon, for safety reasons.

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