Sunday, October 23, 2011

Inflator fan

The final touches on the envelope will be completed upon its first cold inflation (IE: installing the thermistor wire and turning vent lines). I am unsure of the exact length needed for the turning vent lines since I changed the location of the stainless steel rings to avoid the parachute line and turning vent lines possibly getting tangled. I am going to cold inflate the envelope, string the turning vent lines through the appropriate rings and tie them in. I will cut the final length once I have the balloon inflated and stood up.
Now that I have the envelope pretty much finished, I have a few new projects to start on. The first and most important being to build the gondola (chariot lower end). Unfortunately I don't think I will manage to get to that project till the beginning of December. However, I do have some smaller projects that I can start working on in the mean time.

I knew I would be needing an inflation fan for my balloon and was contemplating purchasing one from either Tempest or from Klein Fans. Tempest makes a fantastic safe and VERY effective fan which I have been lucky enough to have used on numerous occasions. I have not had the opportunity to use a Klein fan yet, but I have heard great things about their compact size and light weight design. So as I was contemplating which one to purchase, I stumbled upon an amazing deal through a customer of mine, Chuck Reynolds, who wanted to contribute to my balloon project. I was speaking to Chuck about what he liked about his fairly new 5hp Tempest fan and explained how I was in search of a fan for my experimental balloon. After a few minutes of conversation about how the Tempest was a great choice, Chuck offered up his old fan for next to nothing. I gladly accepted and am now the proud owner of this beast of a fan:

As you can see, it needs a little TLC. But, if you didn't notice from the has a brand new 8HP motor! Yes it is OVERKILL for my little balloon, but who cares?! Ill be able to cold pack my balloon on idle!

My game plan is to purchase a 6 blade propeller to replace the damaged wooden prop currently on the fan. I will remove the motor from the frame, weld up my own which will be a little smaller and will be easier to move around. In addition to building a new frame I am going to construct a shroud for the fan and I plan on using the existing cage to seal up the front and back of the unit. Of course...there are plans to paint the entire unit some form of gray, pink and lime green. I will wait till it is finished being built before I come up with a color design though.

That's it for now. Check back in a couple weeks for another update.

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