If you want to take your pilot's license, have just completed it, or even if you've had it a long time, you may want to know the importance of owning a hot air balloon and what you will need in your kit. There are many different types of equipment, and the type you buy will depend on whether you want to do commercial or personal/sporting ballooning. The two main hot air balloon sellers are Cameron and Lindstrand.
The envelope of a hot air balloon is the balloon itself. They come in many different colours, shapes and sizes, and the choices are endless. The material is usually made out of Dacron or ripstop nylon. For a private balloon a Cameron C-60 envelope is suitable, whereas for sporting a Cameron Racer - 60 envelope or Lindstrand X Series Racer might be the best option. A Lindstrand C Type - 32 Gore envelope is an excellent choice for commercial use.
Baskets are an important factor of hot air ballooning. If you're racing a balloon, you might not want a basket, you could use an Airchair or Cameron C-60 basket. A C-60 basket is also ideal for private ballooning, as is the Lindstrand Open basket, while a Lindstrand Double XT basket or Cameron 350TT are both great for commercial use. Cameron also makes baskets with Tough Terrain flooring so they do not get damaged when landing.
The burner is what inflates the balloon and carries you into the sky, but you'll need one suitable for the size of balloon you have. A single burner is perfect for a smaller private balloon and a competitive racing balloon. A triple burner will be needed for a commercial balloon as they are much bigger and require more energy. You can also buy heat shields for commercial ballooning to make the ride more comfortable for your passengers.
Fuel Cylinders and Systems
The standard fuel cylinders needed for private and competitive ballooning are two 60 litre tanks, while you'll need at least three 72 litre tanks for a commercial balloon.
Other accessories you will need to go with your balloon kit include; Covers for the fuel systems, sidewall padding, a first aid kit, an envelope scoop, inflator fan, tethering equipment, GPS navigator, radio, altimeter, variometer, transponder.
This is just a basic list of the many hot air ballooning equipment choices out there, and you can find all of them with the companies listed at the top. Make sure you go on a few balloon rides first so that you know you will enjoy ballooning before buying all of the equipment.