RC Hot Air Balloons are a Real Thing!

These balloons look just like and are made of the same materials and construction as manned hot air balloons. They are controlled by small liquid propane burners.

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RC Hot Air Balloons

I just learned that RC Hot Air Balloons are a real thing. I've known about and have flown RC Blimps in the past, but didn't know we had hot air balloons in the RC world. These balloons look just like and are made of the same materials and construction as manned hot air balloons. They are controlled by small liquid propane burners and they sound just like a manned balloon too! There are several makers of these balloons. Ones from Matt Mckay who you can find on FB are made with 1.9 oz ripstop, parachute tops and realistic scale model baskets with price ranges from $3000-$5000 RTF. Another maker RadioControlledBalloons have size ranges from 3-22 feet and come in various patterns and colors with options for baskets. His model balloon envelopes are constructed with 12 or 24 nylon vertical gores, each starting with a NOMEX balloon fabric at the base panel and one 3/4oz rip stop nylon panel and manually operated rip out velcro top and they start at around $1200 with complete RTF packages running $2300 to $3300.

Check out the RadioControlledBalloons Site Here

If you are interested in these types of RC aircraft, we do have a forum section on RCGroups here that covers discussions of RC Blimps, balloons, and other lighter-than-air RC aircraft.

Remote Control Hot Air Balloons (6 min 21 sec)

Note: Images below showcase several different makers balloons.

Update: Got a message from Ben who flys these with some great info an how they operate.

They do not have to be tethered, given a large enough space they can be free flown (though strangely this seems uncommon in the US). Also, while we may only have control of the height they fly at through control of the burner, as winds at different heights blow in different directions, they can be 'steered' very accurately by a skilled model pilot. In Brigachtal Germany, home of Bölling Modellballone ( https://www.modellballoneboelling.de/ ), the main supplier of model balloons and components worldwide, there is an annual meet of up to 100 model balloons, all free flown over several days of flights. There are competitive challenges during these flights, which can involve maintaining a certain height over the greatest distance, or flying to a target, or multiple targets. To those who say you can only control the height the correct answer is yes, but that is how we can steer, and flying a model to within meters of a target over a mile away from the launch site is really quite the skill :)

Last edited by Jason Cole; Mar 30, 2021 at 06:55 AM..
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Mar 29, 2021, 09:46 AM
IMO ( In My Opinion ) →
balsa or carbon's Avatar
Remote Controlled ascent and descent ? Anything else ?

They do look pretty !
Mar 29, 2021, 09:54 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Yeah I think just burner control is all.
Mar 29, 2021, 10:29 AM
AeroDan
BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Are these tethered?
Mar 29, 2021, 10:47 AM
Registered User
Yes, tethered.
Mar 29, 2021, 10:55 AM
Rabid Rabbit
PookaHat's Avatar
I was in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti. The pilot told us “Every balloon landing is a crash landing.”
Mar 29, 2021, 11:12 AM
AMA: L68621, FCC: WA2LLX
Honestly not realy seeing the point of R/C here???
Mar 29, 2021, 12:31 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadt770
Honestly not realy seeing the point of R/C here???
I can see the reason for RC to run a valve on the burner so there's control over the duration of the flight. But if you're saying that you don't really see the point of it as "fun to fly" then I'm with you on that.

It would just sit up there and do not much of anything. And it costs hundreds or thousands of times more than a simple kite costs which I could fly in a moderate breeze and get the same return.

I honestly think that more of the appeal for this is renting out the balloonist's service for advertising. On a calm morning it could soar above some event or other and lure in passerbys.
Mar 29, 2021, 12:52 PM
Friend of Foam

Never fails


Maybe just enjoy something different?
Latest blog entry: New Toughjets ducted fan jet
Mar 29, 2021, 01:15 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
Fire danger in drought areas, AMA should not approve of it.
Mar 29, 2021, 02:13 PM
Registered User
I would LOVE to get one with the MRC logo and just have it lounging down at Joe Nall. Heck, all vendors should have them and do away with flags and banners.

Really cool stuff Jason
Mar 29, 2021, 02:54 PM
Friend of Foam
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Challenged
Fire danger in drought areas, AMA should not approve of it.
LoL Good thing turbine fuel, gas and lipos aren't flammable. Hey, we'll always have free flight!
Latest blog entry: New Toughjets ducted fan jet
Mar 29, 2021, 03:03 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
RUBBER FF, that is.

Andy
Mar 29, 2021, 04:19 PM
Registered User
birdbrain's Avatar
Deploy RC gliders from it? Other than that I agree, nice to look at but I can't see any appeal beyond that.
Mar 29, 2021, 04:53 PM
Rabid Rabbit
PookaHat's Avatar
Convert propane to Lipo power!


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