||The Reference on Airships
Balloon Envelope Materials
- Special Balloon Fabric
- Most balloon manufacturers have their own fabrics, usually in the
range of 2 - 3 oz. per sq. yd. It is however nearly impossible to obtain
special balloon fabric from manufacturers. This is due, in the USA, to
liability problems and in general to marketing concerns. If balloon
manufacturers sell fabric to homebuilders they might foster competition
to their own commercial systems and ultimately put themselves out of
- Parachute Fabrics
- Some products from the parachute industry are suitable for balloon
These materials are available from parachute manufacturers and their
suppliers. Parachute fabrics may not have the same resistance to high
temperatures as special balloon fabrics. Envelope life is sometimes reduced
in comparison with heavy balloon fabrics but experience has been good.
- 1.1 oz. calendared ripstop Nylon
- 1.3 oz. calendared, Silicone-coated, ripstop Nylon;
|Warning! Materials and ideas listed here are in part unproven
and may be hazardous to use in the construction of experimental hot air
balloons and airships. Building and flying experimental aircraft
involves significant risk and may lead to serious injury or death.
Always obtain professional advice when building or flying human-carrying
balloons and airships!