Are you a Basket case?

If you do a balloon flight you will be standing for up to an hour in what looks like an oversized picnic basket. The Basket or Gondola is the bottom part of the hot air balloon which carries passengers, flight crew and fuel supplies. They come in a variety of sizes. Small 1m x 1m baskets suitable for sport balloons carrying 1-3 persons up the large passenger joy flight baskets 5m x 1.5m carrying 25 persons. The basket is constructed by weaving Kooboo or Palambang cane through a stainless steal frame. Wire cables run through the cane and plywood floor and attach to the balloon envelope with carabineers. Plywood or cane can be used for the partitions. Most balloons now padding on both the floor and walls for passenger comfort. Rope handles are woven into the basket side for passengers to hold during landings. There a two types of baskets, Open or T – partitioned. Open baskets are generally used on smaller balloons, up to 6 persons with all passengers, crew, fuel occupying the same open space.  When numbers increase above 6 persons the basket is both increased in size and partitioned off to separate flight crew and fuel from the passengers. The T-partition’s advantage over the open baskets are numerous. The load is more evenly distributed over the length of the basket. The pilot cannot be obstructed by passengers. Fuel and control lines are separated from passengers and the design is much safer for passengers when landing as no person can fall upon another. Open basket Open Basket Single T-partitionSingle T- Partition Basket Double t - Partition Double T-Partition Basket

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