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 Early balloons

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Early balloons   Thu 19 Jan 2012, 22:24

http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/plaques/StaffordRd.htm



Take a look and you will see that this balloon was filled with coal gas. that would give approx 1/2 the lift of straigt hydrogen (I've checked the composition - coal gas is approx 50% H2, the rest being mostly methane, and CO (CO is more or less exactly the same molecular weight as N2) - but bearing in mind how small a molecule of H2 is, what would the skin be made of?
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Thu 19 Jan 2012, 23:08


That’s over 5½ miles… incredible.

Could it have been of lacquered silk.


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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Sun 29 Jul 2012, 18:03

The balloon in question was called Mammoth and had a capacity of about 90,000 cubic feet of gas. The skin was constructed from what is described as "American Cloth", which is defined as a cotton cloth, varnished or waterproofed.

The Confederate Army had at least one balloon made of cotton and another made of multi coloured silk, legend has it that the silk was donated from the dresses of Southern ladies, but although the balloon was made from dress silk,the story about donated dresses is untrue.

http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Lighter_than_air/Civil_War_balloons/LTA5.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Sun 29 Jul 2012, 18:56

The French Revolutionary army had used a balloon,successfully,at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794, and had established a Ballon Corps.

Though the advantages of having observers a couple of thousand feet above a battlefield seem obvious,the whole idea was dropped a few years later.[Boney was just a reactionary]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Aerostatic_Corps
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Wed 15 Aug 2012, 12:55

Watching a recent TV documentary about the first airships, Zeppelin constructed his first experimental craft with treated cow guts laminated and sewn into huge bags… these were huge airships and required thousands of animals to be slaughtered… not a happy day for those belonging to the genus of ruminant animals.
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Wed 15 Aug 2012, 22:08

Yuk, and I've always fancied travel by airship, Norm, it seemed such a civilised way to get about. Our old bar, the drifting, discursive dirigible was proof of that.
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Wed 15 Aug 2012, 22:22

ahhh them were the days capt. ferval ma'am.
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Wed 15 Aug 2012, 22:32

Up, up and away Norm?
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 02:38


Aah pure nostalgia Capt. ferval ma’am… makes me think or the advert for nimble bread… remember that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NopAq6tUHVk aye they don’t bake em like that anymore.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 09:38

@Triceratops wrote:
The French Revolutionary army had used a balloon,successfully,at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794, and had established a Balloon Corps.

Though the advantages of having observers a couple of thousand feet above a battlefield seem obvious,the whole idea was dropped a few years later.

[Boney was just a reactionary]

Napoleon was also very progressive in that he appointed a woman, Mme Sophie Blanchard, as air service chief - her exact title and position isn't clear but she was his principal balloon advisor for the proposed invasion of England when he seriously considered using fleets of troop carrying balloons. (She said, correctly, that the proposed aerial attack idea would probably fail because of the prevailing wind direction). Mme Blanchard had become Napoleon's chief balloonist, "Aéronaute des Fêtes Officielles", in 1804 when she replaced another balloon pioneer André Jacques Garnerin after he had disgraced himself by failing to control the balloon that had been launched in Paris to mark the emperor's coronation. The balloon had eventually drifted half way across Europe and crashed in Rome where it became the subject of many jokes at Napoleon's expense.

After her husband died in 1809 following a ballooning accident, Mme Blanchard made a name for herself as an accomplished solo balloonist giving demonstrations and displays all over Europe. Her speciality was night flights during which she launched rockets from her balloon and dropped baskets of fireworks attached to parachutes. With hindsight one feels that combining hydrogen-filled balloons and fireworks would almost inevitably lead her to a violent end. True enough her last performance was over the Tivoli gardens in Paris when her hydrogen balloon caught fire while she was launching pyrotechnic flares, and she fell to her death. But she certainly went out with a bang.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 16 Aug 2012, 10:14; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Kept writing the French "ballon" instead of the English "balloon")
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 10:08

@normanhurst wrote:

Aah pure nostalgia … makes me think or the advert for nimble bread… remember that... aye they don’t bake em like that anymore.

Indeed they don't... but isn't that partly because, the lady aéronaute in question had a nasty accident during filming the ad (if I remember she lost control and crashed into a cliff) and successfully sued (the PR comp I guess) for many, many thousands since she was thereafter confined to a wheelchair? If I'm correct I guess she ain't so Nimble any more, poor lass.
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PostSubject: Re: Early balloons   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 12:10

I never knew that, Meles.

A balloon or two might have been useful for the Emperor at Waterloo.
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