St. Paul Prep students in the Aviation class launched their hot-air balloons on Harriet Island last week. Below are pictures and a summary of the event from their teacher, Ms. Larson.
The morning was sunny and the winds were light as a group of excited Aviation students headed across Harriet Island Park to launch their balloons. As a class, they had constructed four hot-air balloons from tissue paper, carefully gluing the seams of the 6 foot balloons into colorful globes. The students had tested the balloons over a fan in the classroom, checking and sealing any leaks. The question was whether they would actually fly.
The first balloon to launch went higher and farther than anyone expected, but unfortunately recovery was impossible, as the flight concluded quite abruptly in the river. For subsequent launches, we tethered the balloons with a fishing line, allowing recovery, but shortening flight time and altitude.
We conducted experiments with the balloons, launching with small weights and measuring the temperature inside with a probe to calculate lift produced. Overall, it was a great success and I look forward to more launches in the spring!