Hot air balloons are a very interesting way to travel.
Since hot air balloons are not quite as common as other means of transportation, people tend to have lots of questions about how they work.
Luckily, we have some answers for you.
You may be surprised by the type of gas used in hot air balloons and some other interesting facts about how these colorful wonders can give visitors a great view of their world.
What Type of Gas Is Used in Hot Air Balloons?
My people are surprised to find out that hot air balloons are operated using propane.
Propane is a very light and easy to transport gas which allows hot air balloons to stay up in the air.
Without propane, the hot air balloon would not be able to fly.
Many people think hot air balloons are using helium because a typical birthday balloon is often filled with helium.
There are a few reasons propane is the gas of choice in a hot air balloon.
The name “hot air balloon” helps give you some idea of exactly how the propane is used to fly the balloon.
How Does Propane Help to Keep a Hot Air Balloon Off the Ground?
A hot air balloon needs hot air to fly.
When liquid propane is heated, it turns into a gas.
This gas will be hotter than the air, and because of that, it will help the balloon to rise.
If you have ever been on a hot air balloon, you have probably seen the simple system they have of heating gas and using it to fill the balloon.
As the air is heated and the balloon fills, the pilot can control the height and direction of the balloon itself.
Propane is stored in containers that sometimes have ten or thirty gallons of propane in them.
All things considered, this is a very lightweight material to put on a hot air balloon.
Certainly, between the burner and the propane tanks, you will be looking at a lot lighter material than an engine you would find on an airplane.
How Much Propane Is Needed for a Hot Air Balloon Ride?
Potentially the worst thing that can occur when in a hot air balloon is running out of fuel.
As is the case for any flying object, you need to make sure you always have more fuel than you need, and you are overprepared.
If you run into a pocket of air and you have to go off course, making sure you have enough extra fuel is essential.
An average balloon is going to burn about 15 gallons of liquid propane an hour.
There are a few factors that are going to affect this number.
1. Number of People
The more people you have on board, the more it is going to affect your fuel burn.
Certainly, there are maximum capacities on hot air balloons that will come into play.
The size of the actual hot air balloon is going to affect the fuel burn as well.
2. Length of Trip
Some hot air balloon rides are going to last an hour, and others will last for three or four hours.
The longer your trip, the more propane it is going to take to keep the balloon in the air that long.
Luckily, as a passenger on a hot air balloon, you will not need to worry about bringing your own fuel or how much fuel is on board.
The hot air balloon pilot is well trained when it comes to these sorts of things, and he or she will make sure the balloon is adequately stocked.
Chances are the pilot will make sure they have enough propane for an extra hour of flight on the balloon.
If the trip requires twenty gallons of propane, the pilot will likely have at least thirty on board.
Where Do You Need to Store Propane?
You may use propane around your own home as it is very commonly used with a barbeque and sometimes an outdoor heater as well.
Since propane is a familiar gas, people forget how dangerous it can be.
Luckily, there are a few key things you can do to make sure you are storing your propane safely.
Always make sure to store your propane outside.
Storing propane inside is a terrible idea.
Although this is a relatively safe gas to work with, it is highly flammable, and in the case of a fire, there could be explosions related to the propane tanks.
If you are sure your propane tank is empty, then storing it inside may be an acceptable solution, but it is still not recommended.
When you have propane tanks refilled, it is a good idea to see if they are up to code and in good shape.
They need to be inspected sometimes to make sure there are no leaks or cracks in the tank.
Some propane tanks will have indicators which tell you how much propane is left in the tank.
Most people will be able to tell by the weight of the tank.
When the tank is full, it is going to be very heavy.
When you store your propane tank, make sure you keep it upright.
Laying the propane on its side is not a great idea, as it could cause issues with a leak or settlement as well.
The next time you try and use the propane tank, you may have a hard time.
Now that you have all this extra information about hot air balloon rides, it’s time to go schedule a ride.
Hot air balloon rides can be a lot of fun, and they will give you an incredible birds-eye view of the surrounding area.
These rides can be a little expensive, but it is certainly worth taking a hot air balloon ride at some point in your life.