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If you'd like to get involved in hot air ballooning, go to http://www.zballoon.com You'll meet Danny Campbell who we have known and respected for many years.
THE XAP TUBULAR GORE DEPLOYS
The "P" gore with helium inflated tube
The body of the balloon is empty. Note that near the right corner you can easily see through the milky pink anti-static film to the tube on the far side of the balloon cell as it passes around because the body of the balloon is not inflated.
Later, we added gas through the tube to the body cavity which lets the tube collapse in a simulation of the climb to altitude. The tubular gore invention has now been reduced to practice. It will provide instant launch capability to the industry. (It is not suitable for use in sport balloons. The Pink Panther, below, is our new advance for economical safe sport ballooning.)
Mark Caviezel's Test "Methane Marauder" aka Piccard Pink Panther
Each Marauder cell will have a seventy pound net lift. The number of cells assembled depends on the payload and anticipated flight altitude. So each flight can be custom tailored to suit the mission. Any one cell or even a limited number can be released for safety reasons during flight. The individual cells are constructed with an additional safety factor.
Mark Caveziel has published a report on the Pink Panther in the BFA Gas Balloon Division Newsletter, but in the meantime , lacking the availability of that you may appreciate the kernel of my Panther invention:
Many gas balloonists like to fly at "Equilibrium" or "Pressure height" altitude. After a balloon has flown at a higher altitude it normally can only be flown level at a lower altitude by very attentive and judicious use of ballasting and gas valving.
The altitude control in this new system is arrived at by letting the snout float so that its outlet defines a new effective volume for the balloon, effectively lowering the pressure height.
The use of the top mounted snout as an appendix in lieu of a bottom mounted neck eliminates the entrainment of air in the balloon. So, unlike standard powered aircraft that MUST entrain air into the fuel tanks on any descent mode the Panther always has pure fire-safe gas. The anti-static feature of the film is redundant. The cell membrane can therefore be plain film, metalized (conductive) or anti-static (static dissipative).
The lack of physical effort required, the safety in multiplicity, the improved altitude control, the low cost of fabrication and the ease and safety of landing evolutions all point to a real and substantive advance to the art of gas ballooning.
Section of XAP "P" gore consisting of buoyant tube and single ply web with excess net lift.
Model XAP Tetroon formed with spiral buoyant tube and single ply web which together make the "P-Gore"