Parts of the Balloon

History of Ballooning
Ballooning Facts
Parts of the Balloon
Ballooning Links
The hot air balloon has three main parts. Theses are
  1. Envelope
  2. Basket
  3. Burner


The envelope is the colorful part of the balloon. It is made from nylon that is heat resistant. Plastic is coated throughout the inside to help with the containment of heat. The envelope is stored in a canvas bag.


The basket is made of wicker and constructed in a vertical weave. It is finished with a urethane coating on the outside of the basket. This will ensure its longevity and also helps if the basket flexes. The basket holds the propane tank and other instruments.


The burner is usually over the pilot of the balloon's head and is controlled by using a hand valve. The gas used in the balloon is air. The air is heated by the burner which makes the air less dense. The dense air compared with the air outside makes the balloon rise and as the air inside the balloon cools, the balloon will descend.

Other parts

Cables: Cables connect the basket to the envelope. It helps to evenly distribute the weight of the basket all the way up through the envelope.

Skirt: This part helps to keep away the wind from the burner flame so the flame will go directly up into the envelope. This helps to keeps the balloon's shape. It is also called a scoop.

Parachute: This is used if necessary to deflate the balloon. It can be opened by pulling a cord while in the basket by the pilot.

Uprights: These are also called burner supports. These are used to hold up the load frame and burner. They are mostly plastic. Sometimes there are no uprights, instead they use cables.

Ropes: On the top of the balloon is a crown line which is used for stabilization of the balloon while it's being inflated.

Tether lines: Used to tie down the balloon when it is on display.

Drop line: Could be released just before the balloon lands so a ground crew can pull the balloon to the location they want as it is descending from the sky.