Hot Air

Ok this is straight up the sweetest thing I’ve ever done. I got the idea from a Jeep commercial over 5 years ago in which there were 3 Jeeps parked in front of some canyon. It was dusk-ish and people were lying down on the hoods of the Jeeps (which would be amazingly uncomfortable) and the people had glowing balloons floating high above them. They looked like little hot air balloons made of pillow covers and candles that were tied down with string (mmm should have taken that advise to heart). I thought it was an awesome idea and really wanted to make one.

5 years later… that little boy’s dream was about to come true.

I had a few ideas as to how to make this thing… I could use a garbage bag for the balloon, birthday candles for the heat, straws to frame it, and pins to hold everything together.

I stuck the straws in one another to make two straws 1.5x the length of one straw, then I attached those together with pins. I poked pins through the straws so they could hold candles.

I used the same clothing pins to hold the garbage bag to the straw frame.

Once I added the candles and attached the rest of the bag it was ready to go. Note: There are only 8 candles in this picture, but I added a 9th candle when I went to fly this outside for a little more lift.

Test Flight #2, thrusters at 8 year old birthday party power.

The first time I tried this I used a heavy duty garbage bag, something like 1mil. It worked out pretty well, the balloon just hovered around 5 feet off the ground. Someone wanted to go higher… much higher… I took construction photos the second time around.

V2… It’s really easy to ruin the bag while lighting it – if you don’t hold the bag properly you’ll melt a huge hole. Sooooo my dad helped me out.

Not too much explanation here… the launch…



and AWAY !!!

The pictures are really poor quality because it was just a disposable camera and at night… oh well. The digital wouldn’t have been any better. Within 20 seconds the balloon was nothing more than a glowing spot in the sky. The kids in the neighborhood were FLIPPING out! They seriously thought it was a UFO… you can’t really blame them.