The History of Ballooning really began in the late eighteenth century. The first experiments of flights with hot airballoonl have been conducted in the presence of King John V of Portugal, in August 1709, by a Brazilian priest, Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão. The balloon constructed with paper would reach a height of 4 meters. Then, the Montgolfier brothers made their first tests with a balloon of paper full of hot air in 1782.
Throughout South America, particularly Brazil, in the northern zone of Rio, there is a tradition of making and flying balloons in the paper.
Etienne Chambolle, director of the film "Les ballons pirates de Rio " who speaks best:
"In Rio de Janeiro, thousands of people secretly make at the back of their garage giants balloons paper (over 60 meters high). Alchemy between paper, air and fire, balloons pirates haunt the sky with their impressive designs.
But recently, their activity is punishable by imprisonment. Yet manufacturers of balloon, the "baloeiros" continue to fly their extravagant dreams over the most beautiful bay in the world. "
Originally, there was in Brazil that small models, the balloon of June, which was a family activity. Gradually he became more and more impressive and in the 80s, it took really monumental proportions
This balloons rising into the sky as the hot-air-balloons are a true passion for the Brazilian.
Although banned since 1998, they are also an opportunity for large festive gatherings. Indeed, this craft is regarded with disfavour by the Brazilian authorities, who accuse them of triggering forest fires. But "baloeiros" cling to their traditions... Some achievements have required months or years of meticulous and monumental work, for a moment with a few tens of minutes ... the time of the flight.
Tura, the baloeiro in the film of Etienne Chambolle, admits "People often say that God is Brazilian. I say: Brazilian and Baloeiro, manufacturer of balloons.. He adds: when you fly a balloon "feeling is indescribable when you see the balloon rise and illuminate the night or dawn. You must live and experience the deepest self" Against the Prohibition of balloons, he said: "They destroyed me, they have deprived me of air.
For manufacturing, the "baloeiros' use of tissue paper. These are real paper sculptures. There is no ink or paint. The workshop for a baloeiro is like a sanctuary. The photos above show the impressive work to design a ball of paper. To achieve a pattern of small squares of paper are glued edge to edge.It's the same technique to the giant balloons. We realize the scale with the central photo.
The burners are home-made, with canvas, fabric, cotton, soaked in paraffin. Then they are suspended under balloon to keep warm air.
For the ball in June, just one or two people for the flight. One is the balloon unfolded and vertical, keeping the top.The other check that the wick is centered and far from the envelope and then lights it.
The balloon is then inflated and becomes very light. it must go alone when we release it.
Once the wick is extinguished, the balloon cools and falls to the ground. On the other hand , there must be many to launch a giant ball of paper.
The balloon fears rain and wind, even relatively low because the risk is that the balloon "balance" and ignites.
These colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes can raise banners bearing the likeness of sponsors or sports clubs. (Pictured right).
When they fly at night they are illuminated with candles. We recommend the website Turma del Plata, Brazilian website with plans to manufacture small balls and great pictures.And also the excellent film of Etienne Chambolle, moving, showing the Baloeiros life, their culture and their passion for balloons. You can get the movie "the balloons are pirates Rio" on flightmovie.com(below left, a 7mn clip from this film during in all 54mn)
Closer to home in France, Balloons Pirates Association aims to promote arts flying. This group is experimenting with paper balloons and solar in recent years. Self-taught, they develop expertise and empirical techniques in a field where practitioners
are rare in France. They are based in Paris area and Rhône-Alpes, perform flight demonstrations of balloons custom built. They also offer educational workshops and technical training. You can contact the Association Balloons pirates ballonspirates ** AT ** voila.fr (dont forget to replace ** AT ** with @)
In the family of balloons, the solar balloon also functions as a hot-air-balloon very small but that does not burner or other heat source except that provided by the sun.
Like other balloons, the solar balloon is hovering through buoyancy. Solar energy is free and important. Simply convert solar radiation into infrared radiation.
Therefore, the envelope of the balloons must be absolutely black to capture heat from solar radiation.
It uses a black polyethylene film thin enough, with a thickness of 15 to 20 microns. A thickness of 30 microns or more gave the envelope a mass too large for satisfactory performance.
For balloons small, black garbage bags are often used. For larger balloons, using a large roll of polyethylene film to limit the amount of connections to be made between the panels which constitute the widths. For the connection of length may use tape or heat-welding.
Photos above: after cutting them and their assembly in thermal stripper (thermo-welding) we verified in any interior holes, leaks and bad welds by inflating the balloon with a fan. Then this is the first flight outside. Photo right: solar penguin of Joel Goupil
In 1971Dominic Michaelis, an English engineer, is betting that a balloon can fly only with solar energy.
It creates a first structure of 1 m3 with an envelope (transparent to the outside, black inside). The results are good: the temperature difference is about 27 ° C which corresponds to a surge of more than 100 grams per m3.
He realizes a balloon of 10 m in diameter that can already lift his son (30 kg). Photo left: human balloon ascent solar
Since 1977,CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) has developed the MIR balloon (balloon infrared) for scientific flights of long duration in the stratosphere. (right photo: balloon MIR - CNES)
MIR uses the principle of the balloon. It is elevated by hot air. Its envelope is heated during the day by the sun, allowing it to climb up to 30 km altitudeand at night by infrared radiation from Earth. Although small, the lift generated by the greenhouse effect then suffices to stabilize the balloon about 20 km. Capable of carrying up to 50 kg payload, the aerostat has the originality to oscillate continuously at 2 altitudes for 2 to 3 weeks. It is particularly interesting to study the stratosphere.
After seeing invented a balloon inflated with water vapor, Jean-Paul Domen in 1996 patented a solar balloon entertainment.
It makes a first non-captive flight over a distance of 300m from a solar balloon diameter of 16m.
In 98 years, Medellin (Colombia), Alejandro Uribe wants to change the tradition of balloons of paper using the sun to heat them
Initially, he manufactures solar balloons in black polyethylene. Then he uses polyethylene color as well as non-symmetrical shapes. (Pictured right)
December 99, it inflates a structure 135m long made with 250 kg of polyethylene and 17 km from tape. The audience is large, the press and television are also present. It is the largest solar balloon ever built.
Since 2001, the month of December, Alejandro organizes "Fiesta del Globo Solar.(Video above left)
In 2001,Laurent Besset, French reference for solar balloon, invented a platinum electronic control altitude and performs five free flights in Mauritania.
To understand everything about the solar balloon, we recommend to see her website: ballonsolaire
NASA is studying the possibility of using solar balloons for exploration of Mars and even Jupiter, Saturn and its moon Titan.
Photo right and left: gathering and balloon flights solar Meudon July 2006