People that are considering taking a flight in a balloon do not always take time out to learn how to make a hot air balloon. Although there are specialized areas to learn, still it is not hard to master the trade as long as one follows the directions given by experienced people.
When one is learning how to make a hot air balloon, there are some things he or she will have to get together first. These are Gift Tissue, Elmer’s glue, hatpins, a pair of sharp scissors, AWG wire, 3 coke cans, a pair of metal snips, some denature alcohol, pencil or marker, matches and fuel.
When making a hot air balloon, the first thing to do is group the tissue into six sets of threes. Once this done, line up the tissues to form a sheet that will be 60 by 26 inches. Follow through by overlapping each sheet by 3/8 of an inch. To do this however, use a light amount of Elmer’s Glue to hold them together. Because glue has a way of getting soft once the balloon flies in the air, it is better not to use Elmer’s School Glue and others. To make a stronger connection, one can smear the glue along the length of the sheet.
Once you have the 6 sheets that are 60 by 26 inches, stack them directly on top of each other and pin them together with hatpins. With the hatpins in place, use a pencil or marker to mark the sheets so that they cut to make gores at the sides of the balloon.
The first marking should be at the top of the balloon and then proceed to the bottom and neck. Because of the markings, the shape of the balloon is established. Do not be overly concerned if the shape of the balloon does not come out the way you desire it, just make sure that the top of the balloon ends up having more volume than the bottom (this will ensure its stabilityar). The next step is for you to fold the stack of sheets back so that the marked half of the sheets are on top. When doing this however, you must ensure that all 6 sheets are folded in the middle.
With the use of a pair of sharp scissors, cut the sheets and then separate them into sets of twos. Then using your Elmer’s Glue, glue 1 side of each set and you will find yourself with 3 sets of 2-glued gores.
The next step is to put the three pairs together so that the seams are all on the inside. For reference purposes, it is better to number the pairs of gores. Next, fold the top of number 1 gore down the center to the right. Follow up by folding gore number 2 the same way and then flip it (number 2) over so that the unfolded part lines up with the top of number 1 gore. Then fold back number 2 down the centerline to the right. Now it is time to deal with number 3. Fold the top of number 3 down the centerline towards the right. Then flip it over to lay on top of numbers 1 and 2 (which are by now glued together). Glue all the gores together.
The above steps should allow you to have only 1 seam remaining. The next step is for you to fold number 3 and insert the entire stock of gores so that the balloon is inverted with its seams on the inside. Since the last seam will be a bit difficult and may take a while, do so by working your way from the top downward, folding a little bit inward at a time and gluing.
Now using the 20AGW wire, make a circle out of the radius of the mouth of the balloon, insert the ring, and fold the paper of the mouth up around the ring to keep it in place. The next step for you to do is fold about 1 inch of paper around the ring.
With the help of 3 coke cans, use a metal snip or sharp scissors and cut the cap of one can off just below the bend in the top of the can. Then cut the bottom and top off the remaining 2 cans. Apply some force and bend the cans, then stack them vertically. With the cans stacked, poke some holes into the joints where they overlap and insert 2AGW wire through the holes and tie it so that the cans hold together. Again, poke holes around the perimeter of the engine and connect 3 wires that are about 9 inches long through the 3 equally spaced holes in the top.
With the balloon upright (make someone hold it), center the engine within the mouth of the balloon and connect the 3 wires to the ring inside the balloon (to do this you will have to poke the wires through the balloon paper). Check to ensure that wires are evenly spaced around the perimeter of the balloon.
When the above steps are finished, the balloon is complete and ready to fly. On a day when the wind is right, have some friends hold the balloon up and out. Under no circumstances should the balloon paper get near the engine. Pour some denatured alcohol into the engine and light it through the lower sets of holes. This is done to make the engine heat up and begin to show 8 to 10 inches flames coming out of the top of it. Depending on the wind, or how much the balloon weighs, it will take off in 30 to 120 seconds. If the balloon catches fire do not hold it, just build another one. If the balloon does not fly, then lighten or increase the weight.
When going ballooning, it is better that one knows how to make a hot air balloon in the off-chance he or she wants to build one for them self. Knowing how to make a hot air balloon may just be the challenge one needs to ensure a strong knowledge in the area.