When you look into a sky filled with balloons, you naturally marvel at all the colors, shapes, and designs that you see. But behind the unique decorations that make balloons different, there is a virtually identical skeleton. Balloons are all produced of the same basic materials and put together in the same way. If you’ve ever been curious to know about the science behind your balloon when you go on hot air balloon rides Las Vegas, here’s what you need to know.
What are Hot Air Balloons Made of?
Over the course of time, hot air balloons have been made of many different materials. For the bag part of the balloon -called the “envelope”- this includes everything from seemingly flimsy paper to plastics, rubber, and assorted fabrics. As you can imagine, some substances were a better fit for balloons than others. The winner, as tested over the years, was fabric. Heavy-duty nylon, in particular, was chosen as the most durable type of material for hot air balloons. Nylon is noted for being weather-resistant, which extends a balloon’s longevity and increases its resilience to environmental conditions. Nylon is also heat-resistant. This is an important safety concern for the balloons, which are powered by burners. For added security, the balloons used on Vegas hot air balloon rides may also be fortified with additional fire-resistant materials.
Types of Balloon Baskets
In addition to the expandable gas bag, called the envelope, the balloon that you ride in is made up of a part called the gondola, or the “basket.” This part is made of wicker, which is the same material used to make the baskets and even the furniture in your home. Depending on the size of the balloon, the basket can hold anywhere from just two people to large groups of about 20 individuals. There are two basic types of baskets, which are the “T-partition” and the “Open” styles. The open design allows all the passengers and pilot to stand close to each other. This basket is typically used for smaller balloons. T-partition baskets, on the other hand, separate the riders and the pilot. This basket, which is commonly used on larger balloons, is better for evenly distributing passengers’ weight. Regardless of which type of basket you encounter in your hot air balloon rides Las Vegas, you can rest assured that the basket has been tested for strength and durability, and it’s designed to withstand heavy use!
Finally, balloons are finished with load tapes or cords, which are components that keep the balloons steady as they fly. In turn, this gives you the sensation of a smoother and more relaxing ride.
As you can see, there’s a lot of science and technology that goes into making a hot air balloon safe and sturdy. Balloons have come a long way since their first flights, when they were kept afloat (barely) by burlap sack! Today’s hot air balloons are much more sophisticated, and they’re designed to give passengers as smooth and pleasant of a ride as possible.