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Old 07-15-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
east6008
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free flight balooning


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I thought I'd post this introduction to free flight ballooning, to my grand-daughters.
I put 1/2 cup of Gillets Lye in a heavy bottle, and put in a handful of tin foil strips,which gave off hydrogen, and filled a couple of 18" diameter balloons, with the girls names and an email address. The last I saw, the balloons were specked out west heading for Ireland. Great fun
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:19 PM   #2
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Re: free flight balooning

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a handful of tin foil strips
Are you sure you used 'Tin' or was it aluminum foil? I have no idea where yo would get tin foil these days.

We used to use dilute Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and bits of zinc, usually salvaged from dry cell battery cases.
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: free flight balooning

Very cool.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:28 PM   #4
east6008
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Re: free flight balooning

We used to get calcium hydride from war surplus back in the 60's. A small piece dropped into a bottle of water produced lots of H2. We'd attach dethermalizer fuse to the balloons and let them go in groups at night, it looked like a flak barrage high over downtown Calgary!
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Old 07-17-2016, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: free flight balooning

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We used to get calcium hydride from war surplus back in the 60's. A small piece dropped into a bottle of water produced lots of H2. We'd attach dethermalizer fuse to the balloons and let them go in groups at night, it looked like a flak barrage high over downtown Calgary!
HA HA!!! That sounds like fun!
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Old 07-18-2016, 11:08 PM   #6
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Re: free flight balooning

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HA HA!!! That sounds like fun!
Does it ever! Can you imagine how much doo-doo you would be in if you tried that today? The neighborhood would be swarming with City cops, RCMP, Military cops, bylaw cops, DOT cops and a half dozen F16 interceptors on the way from Cold Lake inside of 15 minutes!

30 years ago a friend of mine and his buddies made a free flight hot air balloon out of a tomato juice can, 3 dry cleaner bags and tape. They powered it with gas line antifreeze and inflated it with a hair dryer. Last they saw of it was a tiny spec headed toward the Namao air base.

His Dad got a visit from the Military Police that evening... they spotted it on radar.
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Old 07-19-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: free flight balooning

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Does it ever! Can you imagine how much doo-doo you would be in if you tried that today? The neighborhood would be swarming with City cops, RCMP, Military cops, bylaw cops, DOT cops and a half dozen F16 interceptors on the way from Cold Lake inside of 15 minutes!

30 years ago a friend of mine and his buddies made a free flight hot air balloon out of a tomato juice can, 3 dry cleaner bags and tape. They powered it with gas line antifreeze and inflated it with a hair dryer. Last they saw of it was a tiny spec headed toward the Namao air base.

His Dad got a visit from the Military Police that evening... they spotted it on radar.
Was in the USA for 4'th of July this year. Everywhere I went (they celebrate July 2, 3'rd and 4'th) people were launching these balloons. It's a burning peice of wood at the bottom; essentially an open flame.



The wood is a peice of cedar with tar slathered onto it. Wide-open flame!
As I am watching, I am going WTF???!!! for the same reason you cite- probably not a good idea in this age but here they are doing it by the dozens. And they worry about our "drones"

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Old 07-19-2016, 07:29 PM   #8
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Re: free flight balooning

We spent New Years in Buenos Aires this past year and along with fireworks being launched from every street in the city there were those same Chinese lanterns too. We only saw one fire that started as a result much to our amazement!
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