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How hot air balloon works


The “How hot air balloon works” is very simple. The lifting gas is heated air. This is generated by means of a burner which is fed with propane gas.

The buoyancy weight of the balloon is the difference between the weight of the heated air in the envelope and that of the displaced outside air. A maximum of 0.35 kg of buoyancy is expected per cbm of casing. Air weighs approx. 1.225 kg at 15 ° C and approx. 0.986 kg / m³ at 100 ° C.

The structure

A hot air balloon – with a content of 4,100 m³, for example – consists of the element’s envelope, basket, burner, gas bottle, instrument and radio as well as a radar detection device for proximity to commercial airports. The case has a structure made of load straps, reinforced nylon. The actual fabric is also made of nylon, crossed with a tear-stop fabric. One side of the covering material is provided with a polyurethane layer, which is supposed to ensure airtightness.

To deflate, a lid, called a parachute, is installed in the upper part of the balloon envelope, which can be operated by a line from the basket.

The basket is made of wicker. It is provided with a steel frame inside and offers space for 5 guests.

The burner is fed with propane gas and heats the casing in the upper third up to 100 ° C.

Operating limits

A hot air balloon with a volume of approx. 4100 m³ may lift a maximum of 1315 kg, including the weight of the balloon. This only works if the outside temperature is below 5 ° C.

The maximum buoyancy (difference in weight between warm and cold air) is 0.32 kg per m³ of casing content. The highest permissible continuous temperature is 100 ° C.

The actual area load per square inch (2.5 cm × 2.5 cm) is just over 1 kg of weight. The tensile strength must be at least 13.6 kg weight. New fabric has a tensile strength of almost 30 kg weight.

The higher the outside temperature, the more the weight has to be reduced, since the balloon envelope cannot tolerate more than 100 ° C. We therefore ask all guests about their weight and hope to get an honest answer.

The weight of the hot air balloon is approx. 500 kg. The carrying weight for guests and pilot is approx. 700 kg at an outside temperature of 12 ° C and is reduced by approx. 17.5 kg per degree of temperature increase.

(1 kg weight corresponds to 9.86 Newtons)

Why balloon flight and not balloon flight?

A hot air balloon has no wings like an airplane. That’s why it’s called ballooning and not balloon flying.


A balloon ride takes about an hour and thirty minutes. At your departure point you will experience magical moments when the hot air flows into the balloon and the balloon rises. During your sightseeing flight, a vehicle follows the hot air balloon, which takes you back to your departure point after you land. After your balloon ride, you will receive a certificate that will remind you of this fantastic flight experience for the rest of your life.

Qualified employees in the Bagan balloon and on the ground ensure your safety during the sightseeing flight

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