Monday, July 15, 2013

Presenting: Hot Air Balloon Over Poughkeepsie!

It doesn’t take much to launch a balloon. Just a powerful fan made from an airplane propeller to blow cold air into the balloon, called an envelope. And propane gas to heat the air up to 225°F, so the envelope becomes buoyant and lifts. So why don’t more people use hot air balloons to get around? Because you can’t fly them in bad weather. And you can’t steer them!

Buoyancy is an upward force that moves against the pull of gravity. In a hot air balloon it works like this: When the balloon is filled with cold air, the air inside the balloon has the same density as the air outside the balloon, so it won't lift. But when the air inside the balloon is heated, its particles begin to move faster than the cold air particles, and fewer of them are needed to fill the balloon. So now the air particles inside the balloon have less density than the air particles outside the balloon, and the balloon will lift off the ground and into the sky.

The balloon in this video cast will fly around upstate New York at a rate of about 25 miles per hour. But where it will end up, nobody knows. It all depends on how the winds are moving. Lance and the Liberty Balloon chase crew will navigate unfamiliar roads to follow it. And they’ll be on the ground—hopefully in a nice, flat, tree-free field—to help when the balloon is ready to land.

For more information on hot air balloons, check out these sites!

Special thanks to Lance of Liberty Balloon for taking the time to talk to us, and to Carlos Canadilla for the extra footage! Can't see this—or any of our videos—on a site that's supported by YouTube? Find our channel on SchoolTube!

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