Experimental buildings

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We encourage readers of our "bulletin de construction amateur" to launch building projects. So we have been at the birth of several projects (the list follows, in chronological order).

3D Software to design enveloppes

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picture : 19k
To help me in the design of my first enveloppe, I wrote a small software in C under DOS. This software has received a lot of improvments since. To help me to choice the colors and artwork, I developped a 3D interface, written in C++ under Windows. You can see a view of that on the left. After having entered the parameters of an enveloppe (width of fabric, prices, weight, number of gores, size of mouth, parachute...), the software calculates the panels and can draw it in 3D view on the screen. It delivers the amounts of materials (and the cost) you need to build the balloon.

This software is not downlable. Do not ask me for please.

hot air balloon Deramecourt D16/1600 F-POLU

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picture : 38k
F-POLU is flying
Deramecourt D16/1600 s/n 1
16 gores, 1599m3
february to october 1998
My first balloon got his CNRA in october 98. This is a 1599 cu.m and 16 gores. His name is POLUX. I designed it in black to save gas and make some records.

The building of the enveloppe was a bit strange as I built it in my parisian flat, whose size was 16 sq.m. (and I used only 8 sq.m. because the other 8 sq.m. were for my bed, and my deck). So you can imagine how easy it was to sew 700 sq.m. of fabric in a such small flat.

I did two performance flights with this balloon.

collapsible basket Deramecourt

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To carry easily the balloon described before in my estate car, I decided to built a collapsible basket (show here without his fabric border), as several US people make.

This basket allows two persons in the basket and two cylinders, but I is not usable over 10 knots.

picture : 91k
F-POLU basket
without fabric, 18kg
april 1998

hot air balloon Hennetier 3000m3 F-PCRH

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picture : 68k
F-PCRH tethered
Hennetier 3000 s/n 1
20 gores, 2990m3
july to december 1998
This balloon was built by the family Hennetier (Gergy, 71) during summer 1998. This is a 3000 cu.m enveloppe, and this size allows easy altitude or mountain flights.

Burners and cylinders are second hand, the basket has been built for the balloon.

hot air balloon Rolland 3000m3 F-PASR

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This 3000 cu.m. has the same shape and number of panel than the previous. There were cut together. Built by Sébastien Rolland (74), who has built the basket to. The burner is a Lindstrand one and the tanks are aluminium tanks.
picture : 88k
Rolland 3000 s/n 1
20 gores, 2990m3
july to december 1998

radio-controlled hot air balloon model from Aurélien Fussel

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picture : 48k
Aurélien Fussel, 45m3
RC hot air model
Aurélien Fussel, who lives in Perpignan, shows here his RC model. He built it with his father and few friends. Payload : 1,5kg. That is enough to carry a camera. The radio-control system allows the pilot to burn and to cut the pilot light. There is no deflation system.

radio-controlled hot air balloon model from IUT GMP (school) of Toulouse

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IUT GMP Toulouse,
RC hot air model
october 1998 to april 1999
A team of student from the IUT GMP Toulouse has built this RC model as a study project. Aurelien Fussel, who did not take part in the team, but was the instigator of the project. The team built the enveloppe and the fan. The other parts (burner, basket, cylinders) were built already made. The balloon was ready to fly in spring 99 and it did some tethered flights.

I took the previous picture during a free flight (the only one we did for now). The pilot of the model was in the basket, with me, in my 1600 cu.m balloon. The radio control system allows the pilot to burn and to shut down the pilot light. There is no deflation system.

burner "VULCAIN"

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This burner has been developped by Philippe Lusley and built with F Bonsergent. This is a monobloc system, with three inputs : liquid (2) and gas. There are two liquid inputs : one for the main burner, the other for cow burner. The pilot light requires a gas input for now.

The building of the burner would be finished for mid 2001

picture : 87k
brûleur "VULCAIN"

hot air balloon Deramecourt D20/3000 F-PKAS

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This is my new 3000 cu.m. enveloppe, with polyester fabric (to heat more and/or to increase the life duration regarding the UV effects). We cut the panels between christmas day and new years day at the end of 1999. The sewing was finished at the end of february. The cutting and sewing of the parachute was finished at the end of june 2000. Tehcnical inspection by GSAC took place in july and the first flights afterwards.

This building received the financial and moral support from "The Youth and Sport ministry".

picture : 34k

picture : 53k

auto pilot to fly level

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To fly level during long duration flights, without having to stay always the hands on the burner, I decided to develop an auto pilot system. This system use the height of the balloon to decide if it must burn or not. It works with a microcontroller (derived from the Z80), with small control screen, keybord, pressure gauge and a relay for the electronic valve. A PC link allows to download the software (which can be updated) and the datums. As a project, the system must (in the future) save continuously the flights parameters (height, variations of height, moment and duration of burns).

When correctly working, an autopilot could be very useful for duration or distance flights : during these flights, firing the burner is a bit boring and the navigation task (or taking photographs, speaking with passengers) is more interesting.

This system is on the way to be developped.

The mechanical part has been successfully tested. Electronic part needs some improvments Next trial : mid/end of 2001. It is possible that to avoid some technical difficulties, we use a computer + a GPS so save more technical informations about flights.

picture : 26k
mechanical interface of the auto pilot

ultra-light hot air balloon from Rowlee 1360m3

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Judy and Mark Rowlee, our US friends from California, have built a "Boland" 1360 cu.m. balloon. The enveloppe weights 35 kg, the basket is collapsible and the burner is a TW3. The balloon was finished by mid-2000 and he was flying in Le Puy-en-Velay (France) in november 2000.

picture : 82k
ready for take off

picture : 115k
burner and its frame

picture : 95k
the collapsible basket

hot air balloon Hennetier 2190m3 F-PHCC

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To complete their range of balloons (only a 3000 cu.m.), the Hennetier have decided to built a 2200 cu.m. They cut the panels in july 2000 and sewed it just after. The balloon got his C. of A. during the first part of 2001.

ballon Lequime 1800m3 F-PMSA

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picture : 29k
F-PMSA flying
20 gores, 1800m3
july 2000 to july 2001

Jean-Marc has built a small balloon to compete with it. The size is 1800 cu.m. He cut the panels during july 2000, and sewed in the beginnings of 2001. The balloon got his C. of A. during summer 2001.
F-PMSA for Fox-Papa Montgolfières Sport-Aventure (name of club).

Another 1800m3 is built at the same time by a friend of Jean-Marc : Bernard Desmarets, from Lille. I do not know how advanced is the project.

Jean-Marc Lequime's web page : http://www.chez.com/montgolfiere

motorized hot air balloon Lusley 2000m3 F-PLPL

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picture : 45k
F-PLPL flying
16 gores, 2000m3
december 2000 to july 2001

Philippe Lusley has built a motorized balloon. He has designed the burner ("Vulcain", see before) and the basket. The volume of the enveloppe is 2000 cu.m. The enveloppe has been cut and sewn during december 2000. A very fast building ! The balloon got his C. of A. during summer 2001.

Philippe Lusley's web pages :

hot air balloon Rolland 1600m3 F-P...

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Sébastien Rolland projects to built a new balloon, a 1600m3.

hot air balloon Declerck 3000m3 (?) F-P...

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Denis Declerck, from Strabourg, is beginning the building of a 3000m3 (a priori).

hot air balloon Pertele 3000m3 F-P...

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Benoît Peterle, from Thionville, projects to build a 3000m3 (?).

hot air balloon Bonsergent 2200m3 F-PLII

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picture : 89k
F-PLII flying
12 gores, 2000m3
january 2002 to september 2002

Fabien Bonsergent, from Andard (49), has built a 2200 cu.m. balloon. The balloon F-PLII, a 2200cu.m. one has 12 gores, Deramecourt's shape. Basket built. Enveloppe built. Width of fabric : 1,60m. Get the C. of A. at the end of 2002.

hot air balloon ANAC 1200m3 and/or 1400m3

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L'ANAC (Associação Nacional de Aviação Clássica Experimental du Portugal) is beginning the building of two small balloons.

hot air balloon Nocentini 1900m3 F-PCSB

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Laura is going to cut her balloon and to sew it during december 2001 and january 2002. This will be an ultralight system, with collapsible basket and TBW TW3 burner. The enveloppe is a 1900 cu.m with only 8 gores (with very experimental calculations).

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Arnaud Deramecourt

The addrress of this page is  : http://aerostation.free.fr/mfr/en/mfr_3.shtml
Last update 18/11/2002