Inflation and Deflation

Inflation

THE balloon is inflated by pumping cold air into it. Here are two photographs taken while the balloon was partially inflated. The first one was taken from the "top" of the balloon, looking out; the other was taken from mouth of the balloon, looking in.
For a perspective on how much space the balloon occupies when it's lying flat on the ground, note how small the balloon's pilot looks when he stands at the "top" of the balloon in the "looking in" photograph. (Note: You can view larger versions of either of these photos by clicking on them.)

Deflation

THE "smart vent" system releases hot air from the top of the balloon after landing. NOTE: This must not be done at altitude!

Here you can see the vent in operation. You are looking straight up at the top of the balloon. In the first photograph, the vent is only partially open. In the second one, the opening cable has been pulled to retract the vent fabric. This permits the air to escape much more rapidly, thus causing the balloon to deflate.


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