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Old Sep 27, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Joined Jan 2005
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Hot Air Balloon for ap good - bad - depends?

HABAP? - Tossing this idea in my head, any pro's - con's . I'm afraid, I will need a huge balloon to cary a couple of pounds of payload. I had thoughts of mounting a motor and a rudder on it to have some control as to where the thing goes, but maybe that is rediculous too?

anyways I am in rural america, so space to fly is not an issue, and I thought it would be fun. So any inputs would be great thanks.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 04:06 PM
These are always too shor
dentedvw's Avatar
United States, UT, Bountiful
Joined Jul 2006
194 Posts
I think you could put just about anything you want on it, but it will only go where the wind is blowing. Maybe there is no wind where you are, but it seems to be always windy here. Oy.
However, you need to consider the rest of the works too. Balloon has to go down as well as up. If you could manage up/down, and maybe on a calm calm day even a bit of steering, a balloon would make a really neat AP rig, since it is nice and stable by it's very nature.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 08:11 PM
Flown There, Crashed That
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Woodinville, Wa
Joined May 2006
605 Posts
The only way to do an rc baloon like that is to tether it as the baloon is like a big sail and would be very hard to actually fly. A helium blimp is probably a better idea though they too are affected by the wind.
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Eric_N57105's Avatar
Riverside, CA
Joined Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scruff
HABAP? - Tossing this idea in my head, any pro's - con's . I'm afraid, I will need a huge balloon to cary a couple of pounds of payload. I had thoughts of mounting a motor and a rudder on it to have some control as to where the thing goes, but maybe that is rediculous too?

anyways I am in rural america, so space to fly is not an issue, and I thought it would be fun. So any inputs would be great thanks.
I think the only way to do it would be a tether. I used to fly full-scale hot air and gas balloons. My hot air balloon weighed around 6000 pounds by the timed you count the air inside the envelope (you have to). Even at that, it was easily moved by the slightest slightest breeze. For AP, chances are very good that breeze won't be heading where you want to go.

A motor/rudder would be a disaster. You see such things in fanciful drawings from the 18th Century, but they never worked. Maybe MAYBE with a rudder out on a long boom, you might get some measure of directional control. But my guess is the slightest hint of off center thrust is going to send the balloon spinning one direction or the other. Even full-scale balloons have a tendency to rotate slightly one way or the other when ascending or descending...each balloon seems to have its own characteristics there.

You already got the correct advice. Consider helium instead and no matter which type balloon you pick, tether it. Free flight ain't gonna work for AP.

Eric
www.ke6us.com
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 11:28 PM
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United States, UT, Salina
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There is a guy locally that makes good living (oregon) doing it with a tethered Helium ballon that has a pan tilt camera mouted to it.
He hates the wind though and trailers it in a rather expensive ride.
Helium, (according to him,) is a monthly expense as well.
Does mostly construction before, during and after shots from the same position.
(for sewer, gas and electric info.)
Bill
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Old Sep 28, 2006, 11:44 PM
Peakaboo!
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Sakinee, Canada
Joined Sep 2004
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I would prefer to build something like a Hyperblimp. Hyperblimps can fly in the wind and make amazing video platforms.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 12:17 AM
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Rich Hill Missouri 64779
Joined Nov 2003
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That's why a lot of guys use kites. They are "tethered" so to speak, and the wind keeps them steady, so the camera hangs down and can move in all directions. Anything like a blimp, or kite , or even the Rega type wings have so much wing area the the wind is the boss. I have a Rega type wing like BarStools, and several times before I can get her off the ground the wind will tumble her up the block.
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Old Sep 29, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Riverside, CA
Joined Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbobaker
There is a guy locally that makes good living (oregon) doing it with a tethered Helium ballon that has a pan tilt camera mouted to it.
He hates the wind though and trailers it in a rather expensive ride.
Helium, (according to him,) is a monthly expense as well.
Does mostly construction before, during and after shots from the same position.
(for sewer, gas and electric info.)
Bill
I believe that. Almost anything is permeable to helium including storage tanks! Those tiny little atoms find their way out somehow. I don't know what the guy is using for an envelope, but guaranteed he is losing helium on a regular basis and I have no doubt he has to top it off a number of times during a month.

There's also the problem of contamination from air that occurs when the balloon expands and contracts from heat. Blimps periodically purge contaminants because it decreases lift. We didn't have that problem with the manned helium balloons since we didn't store helium. When we landed, we released it all into the atmosphere and threw everything in the back of a pickup truck.

The balloon would be a perfect AP rig for that type of work since he can very accurately reposition the camera each time he goes on site. Mark the tether for altitude and use stakes or GPS for position.

Good info, Bill.

Eric
www.ke6us.com
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