Thinking about a Hot Air Balloon

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Oct 31, 2019.

  1. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was thinking the balloon burner would be a great way to start the bonfire! :D
     
  2. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Picked this up today:

    [​IMG]

    The trailer is an 8x16, 6 ft or so tall inside. It's not sitting properly because I need to get a different height hitch than what I have, easy enough there.

    The reality is the trailer is significantly larger than what I need. The "best size" trailer would be a 6x10 and one with a fold down/ramp back. This one is bigger and has barn doors in the back, so I would need to add ramps to it or else lift the basket up into it. Oddly, it has 14.5" wheels and tires, something I've never seen before. The axles are beefy, and they have brakes (which aren't hooked up).

    I bought it cheap enough that I could flip it and make a profit. It does tow well, but really it is too big for the balloon. It could fit the Cobra in it, though, which could make it a multi-use trailer.
     
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  3. Bill Greenwood

    Bill Greenwood Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you think you have fear of heights, don't let a ballon ride stop you. Go find a Breezy like the man who gave rides for years at Fon du Lac. There's not fuselage and you sit in a simple chair with the only thing between you and skydiving is one measly seat belt.
     
  4. lowtimer

    lowtimer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Looks like "mobile home" style axles.
     
  5. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ted may have thought about a mobile home once or twice back in the day. Now he might be thinking of a mobile home park.
     
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  6. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, I was thinking semi truck/school bus, but the beefier style of wheels and axles. Single tire axles.

    What I'm more thinking about is a bus converted into a mobile home. You know, to tow the balloon to rallies.
     
  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Youtube bus guy could probably hook you up with a nice two stroke diesel bus.
     
  8. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    He only does repairs, he doesn't really do brokering or sales.

    The thing I've come to the conclusion of is that the 6-71s don't have enough power, I don't like the sound of the 8V71/8V92s as much (especially the turbo ones) and the only busses with 12V71s from the factory were MC6s, which are rare and mostly in bad shape.

    So realistically, we'll be looking for a Class A of some sort when the time comes that meets what we want more or less as-is. My favorite engines there are Cats, and plenty of Class As are Cat powered, but the Cats in those are some of the smaller and less-good ones. Prevost is my favorite bus manufacturer, but they're all either 8V92T or Series 60.

    It's a ways off so I'm not yet at the "thinking about" stage.
     
  9. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I really think you should re-visit the idea of buying a tank, getting an M113 instead, and you can use it to run around the property pulling out tree stumps. Then you can get your 6V53 on plus have something that drives like a dozer.
     
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  10. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Find me one for a reasonable price and you might be on to something...

    The real problem is that with a weight of 12 tons (according to Wikipedia - I'm sure you could tell me a more accurate weight) I'd be looking at needing to buy another semi to haul the damn thing. And my wife has said no more semis. :(
     
  11. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    One of these days I'll do an add on for my balloon rating. Last I checked its only 10 takeoffs and landings and an hour solo.
     
  12. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We're doing commercial so it's a bit more, but yeah, it's still not bad to do the add-on.

    Of course a takeoff and landing isn't quite the same as touch-and-gos in a 172.
     
  13. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    Mine would be just a class add-on, so its quite simple.
     
  14. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    No XC so you can do it in still air?
     
  15. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    I guess in theory, that would be correct. Reading 61.63(c), I wouldn't have to meet the time requirements. It had been a while since I actually looked, turns out I would need 2 flights as PIC in a balloon, 1 flight to 3000 ft above takeoff elevation and 2 solo flights. At least I think that's the case.

    Mind you, a few years back I had spoken to some people about it, and the answer was that no DPE's would know how to do it that way, even though it was legal, and I would probably end up meeting all the requirements anyway.

    The number of people that my situation applies to is certainly less than 100, for what it's worth.
     
  16. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    You would be amazed at the things that can happen after ten simple takeoffs on an otherwise still morning. :D :D

    Early one morning I was driving solo chase to pick up my friend's dad on a planned flight from the Sandia foothills over the Crest. My brother was riding along in the balloon.

    I was heading for turnoff at Bernalillo to go around the mountain, when they called me on the radio. He liked to fly as close as possible to the granite faces on the North end of the Sandias, and an uncooperative tree had snagged the envelope. It was now deflated and hanging on the trees.

    They had to walk out, it took six hours. The next day or so some employees hiked down to the balloon from Sandia Crest and bagged it, and a helicopter was rented to lift it out.

    Somewhere along the way, the cargo hook malfunctioned, and the basket and envelope fell about 2,500' to the mesa below. The basket was a mass of aluminum tubing and fiberglass about 16" tall, and the envelope split into pieces.

    The new balloon was much bigger and nicer. :D :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  17. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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  18. Sam Hardin

    Sam Hardin Filing Flight Plan

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    I took an air balloon ride once as a kid. Very cool! Good luck in your endeavors!
     
  19. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    By no means am I saying I'd be anywhere near safe to be alone in a balloon that fast, but it sounds fun. I know a guy that if I were going to do it, I'd call him and see what he thought would be the best route. Honestly, it would more of a trophy rating than anything else for me.
     
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  20. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Picked it up today. Very excited, now we just need to start learning how to fly it!
     

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  21. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Cool! Your signature line made me wonder, though: What's the fuel economy of your hot air balloon?
     
  22. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Next time the wind is out of the south, swing on by.
     
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  23. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    About 20-25 gph of propane is what I’ve heard.

    The part I’m definitely the least comfortable with is landing out. Of course we know you’ll always be happy to have us drop in!
     
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  24. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'll paint a big white X on my roof. The smoker can act as a wind sock.
     
  25. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Supposed to have my first ground lesson this afternoon. More than anything we’ll do a check over of equipment and fire things up if we can. Make a shopping list and go from there. Hopefully we can do a hot inflate.
     
  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would guess that the first lesson would include how to fold/unfold.??
     
  27. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, that's basically what we're going to do today. Work on getting everything out, set up, learning how to unfold/refold. We might do a warm inflation if there's propane in the tanks (I think they're empty). I might try going by Tractor Supply to refill the tanks as they fill by the gallon, which is what I need. I didn't fill up the gas tank for the inflator fan, but that had gas in it currently so it should be fine. If I go by Tractor Supply and the gas station before leaving I might unhook it and fill it up just to make sure.
     
  28. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I know you're presently thinking about a balloon, but with your land and the local landscape, I can't believe you haven't thought about a powered paraglider as well.
     
  29. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Believe me, I have and would love to. Laurie is not a big fan of ultralights. Maybe after we get our balloon ratings and get the runway further along she'll be interested in the idea.
     
  30. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    powered parachute might be the only flying machine more wind sensitive than a balloon. at least in a balloon there is *something* between your feet and the ground when you land...
     
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  31. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Speaking of landscape, just SW of New Century is what looks like an old airport being used for loading containers onto railcars and trucks. Was that once an airport, or just look like one?
     
  32. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's the intermodal rail yard. Amazon and a few other companies use it - trains from the coast full of stuff from China come in, it all gets moved onto trucks and scattered across the US. It's great for picking up thermals in a glider. It used to be farm land.
     
  33. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Cleared for Takeoff

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  34. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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  35. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    This afternoon we were able to meet the instructor for our first "lesson". There was no flying involved (or even hot inflation) but we did get everything out, assembled, fired up the burners, checked everything for functionality, and we did a "cold inflation" of the balloon. Everything works and this thing really is pretty neat and in good shape. Now we start looking at weather and hopefully find a good day to fly.
     
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  36. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Completely off subject, Ted, but I have a friend who just took a job with Garmin, a bit up the road from you. One of Garmin's employee benefits is that they will help (cover?) the cost of ground school for your PP. I'll have to let him know about POA. Just what we need, another Kansas pilot! :D
     
  37. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    I’m aware of that benefit. ;)
     
  38. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You wouldn’t need to light the burner if I was around, Ted. I’m full of enough hot air to get us both off the ground.
     
  39. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With all the cows around Kansas I would think it would be possible to use ''alternate gas'' instead of propane...
     
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  40. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    I have one I'm looking to sell if you are interested.