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What is a Hot Air Balloon?

Physics | 7-14 yrs | Animation, Video

A hot air balloon is a very simple type of aircraft that you can use to fly from one place to another.

Using simple laws of physics, one can travel in the basket suspended from a balloon and enjoy the beautiful view instead of being inside an aeroplane that flies much faster and at a much higher altitude.

How does a Hot Air Balloon Work?

The working of a hot air balloon is simple. It is made up of a balloon-shaped envelope in which you fill hot air. Since air will rise when it is heated, the balloon with the air inside is lifted, giving it an upward thrust. The balloon itself is made up of a nylon material with a heat resistant material at the mouth where the burner is. The liquid propane fuel is stored in cylinders in the wicker basket below. We use wicker because it is light enough to not be excess weight, yet sturdy enough to hold the weight of the passengers.

Hot air balloons cannot navigate on their own. They must rely on the wind to push them in a particular direction. Since the wind at different altitudes blows in different directions, the navigator of the balloon can increase or decrease the amount of hot air in the balloon, to make it rise and fall in order to catch a wind and take you on your magical adventure.

Zeppelins work similarly to hot air balloons except that they are able to navigate left and right. Can you find out how this is possible?

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