||The Reference on Airships
- Wicker Basket
- The traditional basket material absorbs shocks upon landing
better than any other material. Wicker baskets tend to be heavy
though, and many experimental balloonists don't mind losing the
advantages wicker offers if they can loose its weight at the same
time. Articles on Wicker construction can be found in
Balloon Builders' Journal
issues #17 and #18.
- Aluminium Frame with Fabric Walls (aka "Boland Basket")
- Developed and perfectioned by Jim Chubbuck and
in Connecticut (USA) this construction can be folded and is
very light. All the weight is carried by internal aircraft quality
steel cables (usually no rigid uprights). This is the basket of
choice for quite a number of builders.
- Rigid Uprights
- Rigid uprights make a balloon easier to operate mainly because they
prevent the burner from hitting the passengers' heads upon landing. But they
also make a basket heavier and clumsier.
- AN-Spec. Hardware
- The use of Aeronautical Specification (AN) materials for structural parts usually
eases the issuance of the Special Airworthiness Certificate.
- Nylon Rod
- Some balloon manufacturers and homebuilders like to use nylon rods
for various basket components. Notable is that nylon rod is very
resilient, i.e. it springs back into its original shape after having
been bent. Several experimental homebuilders have used nylon rod
to construct rigid uprights for their baskets. (NB: Steel cable is
still employed as the structural component bearing the weight.) Other
homebuilders do not like the idea of nylon rod, because it is still
significantly heavier than aircraft grade steel cables only.
|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!