The hot air ballon

by dan
(roslindale, ma)

Hot Air Balloon Drawing

Hot Air Balloon Drawing

My hot air balloon. I actually made a real hot air balloon but only about 3'by 3' and it was to explain how heat rises and how an actual hot air balloon works. I made it out of paper-mâché a coffee can and craft wood. I used a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol for the heat source and place it in the coffee can to hold it. This heat-generating mechanism was attached to the actual hot air balloon.


Barry's Response - Dan:

Such simple household items: paper mâché, coffee can, rubbing alcohol can be used to make the most classic of experiments. Thanks.

One note of safety concern. The usage of volatile fuels, including alcohol, may be frowned upon by authorities if conducting this experiment in your school. Extra permission and/or supervision may be required, as liquid flammables tend to be harder to control than water, and the consequence of a spill can be more disastrous.

One solution may be to use candles instead, as they are more stable and controllable. Trade-offs may be required to make this thing fly, as candles are heavier. Try substituting lighter, stronger materials, such as thin plastic sheeting in place of the paper mâché when possible.

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