Lower propane pressures in hot air balloons
A Caution from Sun Flyer
Decreases in propane pressure can be 20% over the course of a flight. Vapor pilot lights will contribute to evaporation of propane in the tank and impact the operating conditions of the balloon in a more dramatic way at low propane levels than for balloons equipped with pilot converters operating with liquid propane. A balloon pilot should be aware that when the propane in the tank is down to the last ten or fifteen percent, that propane will be cooler than the original full tank, and
the pressure in the tank can drop off rather precipitously during the last few minutes of the flight if thermal gradients were present in the liquid propane prior to flight.
A complete reference is provided below.
- Propane characteristics and perfomance in hot air balloons
- Impact of vapor pilot lights on hot air balloon performance
Links to parts of this website and external websites
- Sun Flyer Log
- Caution from Sun Flyer concerning lower propane pressure in hot air balloons
- Wikipedia link to hot air ballooning
- Sun Flyer video from 2012 balloon fiesta
- Sun Flyer Video from 2013 balloon fiesta
- Sun Flyer video from 2014 balloon fiesta
- PBS video "Ben Franklin's Balloons"
- Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta