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Balloon at center of Falcon Heene drama not your average hot air balloon
nydailynews ^ | October 16th 2009, 1 | Rosemary Black

Posted on 10/16/2009 8:41:45 AM PDT by JoeProBono

The homemade balloon contraption that soared through the air in eastern Colorado for several hours is vastly different from the giant hot air balloons that are seen at festivals and that are used for recreational purposes, experts say.

Nearly all the giant balloons that drift and bob through the air are hot air balloons that are filled with air and fueled by propane, explains Howard Freeman, executive producer of the Quick Chek New jersey Festival of Ballooning in Reddington, New Jersey. As the air inside the balloon heats up to a temperature higher than the outside air, the balloon rises, he explains. Helium balloons rise because helium is lighter than air, he explains. The contraption, owned by Richard and Mayumi Heene, may have risen even higher than it would have otherwise since the heat would have caused the helium to expand further, Freeman explains.

Both hot air and helium balloons typically are piloted by a pilot with a license, he says.

"A skilled pilot licensed by the Federal Aviation Authority can go to different altitudes and although he can't steer a hot air balloon, a pilot can get it going in the general direction that he wants," Freeman explains.

Hot air balloons generally have 70,000 cubic feet of volume, are seven stories high, and can carry 760 to 800 pounds, or about four adults, Freeman explains.

The flying saucer-shaped silver balloon owned by the Heenes looked to be carrying about 1,500 cubic feet of helium, Freeman estimates. "Some experts are saying that it could not have carried anyone over 70 pounds," he says. "You figure that it takes about 1,000 cubic feet of helium to give you 40 pounds of lift."


TOPICS: Science; Sports; Travel
KEYWORDS: balloon; falconheene

Both hot air and helium balloons typically are piloted by a pilot with a license.


1 posted on 10/16/2009 8:41:47 AM PDT by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

2 posted on 10/16/2009 8:47:37 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: JoeProBono

3 posted on 10/16/2009 8:50:58 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: All

4 posted on 10/16/2009 8:53:07 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: JoeProBono

Is this an individualized Congressional balloon (self powered by hot air)?


5 posted on 10/16/2009 8:56:03 AM PDT by catman67
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To: JoeProBono

In retrospect I am happy the ‘rescuers’ slashed the balloon.

I think they knew they’d been had, before the landing.


6 posted on 10/16/2009 8:58:38 AM PDT by Carley (OBAMA IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE IN THE WORLD)
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To: JoeProBono

Hot Air Balloon

7 posted on 10/16/2009 8:59:12 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: JoeProBono

has that reporter never heard of a helium balloon??


8 posted on 10/16/2009 9:01:20 AM PDT by GeronL (They Made It Happen On Purpose Economically. MIHOPE)
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To: JoeProBono

9 posted on 10/16/2009 9:01:58 AM PDT by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: JoeProBono

There was no way that ballon could hold 1,500 cubic feet of helium.

400 - 500 cubic feet max. 500 would be 5 x 10 x 10 (if it were a box)

Assuming 500 cubit feet then max lift is 30 pounds. Knock off about 8 pounds for the weight of the aircraft and you could lift about 22 additional pounds on a good day. The kid looks 60 pounds to me.


10 posted on 10/16/2009 9:04:19 AM PDT by JBR34
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To: GeronL

LOL! Apparently not. We are also regaled with the stunning revelation that hot-air balloons are filled with air that has been heated. Who knew?


11 posted on 10/16/2009 9:05:52 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill; Landru

That is quite the investigative journalism


12 posted on 10/16/2009 9:13:25 AM PDT by GeronL (They Made It Happen On Purpose Economically. MIHOPE)
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To: Joe 6-pack

no, I must correct you, that is a Hot Air Baffoon


13 posted on 10/16/2009 9:15:33 AM PDT by Cyclone59 (I ROCK, Guitar Hero said so........)
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To: JoeProBono

Splash and dash!


14 posted on 10/16/2009 9:31:26 AM PDT by Disambiguator
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To: JoeProBono
As the air inside the balloon heats up to a temperature higher than the outside air, the balloon rises, he explains.

That is a poor explanation.

15 posted on 10/16/2009 9:47:20 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd: ON)
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To: GeronL
"That is quite the investigative journalism"

From the dolt-scribe's POV, better than we serfs deserve. LOL!!

16 posted on 10/16/2009 10:28:52 AM PDT by Landru (If you want to perform for 15 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour, 5 days, a YEAR! Call...)
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To: Landru

I am just not sure what this story had to do with hot air baloons. Nothing as far as I can tell. I guess this article was for the idiots who voted for Obama.


17 posted on 10/16/2009 10:32:31 AM PDT by GeronL (They Made It Happen On Purpose Economically. MIHOPE)
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To: JBR34
I tried to figure out the volume of his balloon and came up with about 714 cu ft. The formula for calculating cubic feet in a sphere is

4/3 X pi X radius cubed.

I was having a hard time estimating the size of the balloon but guessed it was about 16 feet across. If you plug in the numbers you come up with 6400 cubic feet, but that is for a spherical balloon not a disk shaped one. One cubic foot of helium can lift 28.2 grams so if you divide the total grams lifted by 448 grams that equals the pounds lifted. A 16 foot diameter balloon could lift about 145 pounds. Since this balloon is flattened disk shaped it looks like its maybe 1/3 the volume of a spherical one, then it could lift 45 pounds. The kid and the balloon would have to weigh less than this. Can't wait to see this on Myth Busters.

18 posted on 10/16/2009 10:36:17 AM PDT by Harley (Life is Tough, But It's a Lot Tougher When You're a Liberal. Stop Global Whining Now.)
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To: GeronL
"I guess this article was for the idiots who voted for Obama."

Maybe, but I'm inclined to believe you're just being cheritable.

zerO's voters could neither read or comprehend print, never-mind the spoken word. LOL

19 posted on 10/16/2009 10:40:43 AM PDT by Landru (If you want to perform for 15 mins, 30 mins, 1 hour, 5 days, a YEAR! Call...)
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To: Landru

lol.

Yep. The article wasn’t dumbed down enough for them.


20 posted on 10/16/2009 11:03:06 AM PDT by GeronL (They Made It Happen On Purpose Economically. MIHOPE)
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To: JoeProBono

"It is ba-llooon!"

21 posted on 10/16/2009 11:08:30 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (That smell of death...be seeing ya big casino)
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To: Billthedrill

Did you know that you can make hot air by heating air that is at room temperature? true story.


22 posted on 10/16/2009 5:27:40 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (They have a saying in Chicago Mr Bond once happenstance, twice coincidence, three times enemy action)
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