''PVC Skin: Temporary Skin''
Click here to Continue

Previous slide Up to the Index Design Hints Introduction and Overview Next Slide

Back in the mid 70's some friends put together a one man hot air baloon made of ''visqueen'' 3-mil plastic sheeting. It was held together with brown packing tape, the same stuff that you use for wrapping packages for UPS.

It was not meant to be something that would be flown often; just a couple of times and then that was it; just wanted to see if they could do it. Of course, the flights had to be done on a tether. The ''pilot'' sat in a plastic kitchen chair with the 20pounds propane tank on his lap.

They started off with a couple of 100 foot rolls of plastic and arranged them in an X pattern on the ground and then started taping the edges together to form the envelope. All of the seams were overlapped and taped on both sides inside and out. One has to size the envelope so that it would have enough lifting power to get the whole thing off the ground without having the inside temperature get above 212 degs. Figuring that anything above that and the plastic envelope would start getting weak and begin to melt......

So, all you need is a case or two of tape and a trip to the hardware store for some painters drop cloths...

Contributors to this page: Thomas Yost (TDY), Patrick Poirier (PPR), Gerald Maroske (GUM) and Hendrik Maroske (HHM)