LPG for hot air balloons usage
One colorful, red, blue, and yellow hot air balloon rising against a bright blue sky with whispy white clouds

LPG for hot air balloons usage

Imagine yourself raised from the ground, watching everything from above whilst you are flying in the sky. Over the hills of Tuscany or passing through the Cappadocia mountains. No matter where you are: during your hot air balloon flight experience you should feel free, powerful and most importantly, safe.

Indeed, if we take a look at the wide range of LPG cylinders applications, you will find also they can be used within the hot air balloon industry, generally located in the basket in which both the pilot and passengers are carried.

About ballooning

A hot air balloon has three essential parts: the burner, which heats the air; the balloon envelope, which holds the air; and the basket, which carries the passengers.

Hot air balloons are based on a very basic scientific principle: warmer air rises in cooler air, as hot air is lighter than cool air, because it has less mass per unit of volume. Each cubic foot of air contained in a hot air balloon can lift about 7 grams, as one cubic foot of air weighs roughly 28 grams (about an ounce). If you heat that air by 100 degrees F, it weighs about 7 grams less.

To keep the balloon rising, you need a way to reheat the air. Hot air balloons do this with a burner positioned under an open balloon envelope. As the air in the balloon cools, the pilot can reheat it by firing the burner.

Modern hot air balloons heat the air by burning propane, stored in compressed liquid form, in cylinders (mainly steel ones) positioned vertically in the balloon basket.

The intake hose runs down to the bottom of the cylinder, so it can draw out the liquid. Because the propane is highly compressed in the cylinders, it flows quickly through the hose to the heating coil. The heating coil is a length of steel tubing arranged in a coil around the burner. When the balloonist starts up the burner, the propane flows out in liquid form and is ignited by a pilot light. As the flame burns, it heats up the metal in the surrounding tubing. When the tubing becomes hot, it heats the propane flowing through it. This changes the propane from a liquid to a gas, before it is ignited. This gas makes for a more powerful flame and more efficient fuel consumption.

About accidents

Over the last few years, hot air balloons have been protagonists of tremendous scenarios. Mainly, we can remember the crash near the ancient city of Luxor, Egypt, that saw the death of 19 tourists.

According to the witnesses, the balloon is believed to have caught fire, while the pilot and a British passenger jumped out, before the balloon ascended swiftly. Flames spread quickly and ignited a gas canister, which exploded.

Recently, three British people have lost their lives in a hot air balloon crash in Carolina after a fire occurred during their flight. As reported by the Mirror newspaper, the footage emerged as part of a report by the National Transportation Safety Board which has yet to release the reason for the accident occurring although bad weather is a possible factor.

Conclusion

In the light of what has been reported, it is evident how an amusing experience like a hot air balloon flight may compromise passengers’ safety in particular circumstances.

Regarding this point, it is essential to take into account the main features of the composite LPG cylinders to ensure your experience 1000 feet away from the ground is safer.

Apart from being lightweight, Aburi composite LPG cylinders are non corrosive – they are not affected by any weather condition, reducing any risk of explosion.

The helically woven fibre allows the cylinder to resist fire for 3 minutes before any gas is emitted from the LPG cylinder. After 10 minutes the cylinder will burn but remains non explosive.

If your dream is to fly over the rainbow safely, the answer is: yes, you can.