Aeronautics (aeronautics, aeronautics) is one of the aviation sports involving the use of balloons during competitions - aircraft lighter than air. Attached to the ball is a basket (gondola), woven from reeds and vines, and equipped with a burner block.

There are many legends about flying in hot air balloons, one of them - about the flight of the boy Antarqui from Peru, dates back to 200-400. According to ancient Russian chronicles, military aircraft (balloons made of paper) were used by Prince Oleg during the siege of Constantinople in 906, but there is no information about how effective such a weapon was. The first successful test of the balloon created by the priest Bartolomeo Lorenzo de Gustamo (Portugal) is dated August 8, 1709. But the Montgolfier brothers are considered the inventors of the balloon, who successfully demonstrated the balloon they had created in 1783.

The first aeronaut competition took place in April 1899, and on October 1, 1906, balloon pilots competed for the first time for the Gordon Bennett Cup.

As new types of balloons appeared, corresponding competitions arose. In February 1973, the first world championship in hot air balloons took place, in September 1976 - the first world championship in gas balloons, in August 1988 - the first world championship in thermal airships. The first World Air Games took place in September 1997.

The fair sex was interested in aeronautics on an equal basis with men. But only in June 2010 the first official European championship in hot air ballooning among women took place in Lithuania. Competitions of this kind will be held by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) every 2 years. The first women's world championship is scheduled for 2013.

Aeronautics myths

The first air travelers were animals. During the official demonstration of the balloon, designed by Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier, which took place at Versailles on September 19, 1783, the animals did indeed take flight: a ram, a rooster and a duck. However, 4 days before, the physicist Pilatre de Rozier had risen on the same balloon during test flights. And according to Russian chronicles, the first aeronaut was the clerk Kryakutnaya from Nerekhta, who flew on November 17, 1731 (for which he was excommunicated and expelled from the city).

Hot air balloons were modernized due to the fact that sports and recreational hot air balloon flights became more and more popular. No, improvements to this aircraft began for another reason - in 1962, the US aviation department was looking for an opportunity to ensure the safety of pilots who had an accident over the sea or ocean. It was proposed to design an "inflatable parachute" that could keep a person in the air for some time - this invention could facilitate the work of the rescue team and protect the pilot himself. However, the use of the created design on supersonic aircraft was impossible. But the athletes took advantage of the updated hot air balloon equipped with propane tanks with pleasure.

Women's teams only appeared in aeronautics in the 21st century. Completely erroneous opinion. The world's first women's team of two (Miss Labrosse and Miss Henry) flew over Paris (France) on November 10, 1784, and in September this year in Lyon, Madame Tible took off alone in a balloon. In Russia, the first female aeronaut, Mrs. Ilyinskaya, flew on August 31, 1828. The balloon she designed rose to a height of 620 meters.

In sports aeronautics, competitions are held in which balloon pilots must complete various tasks. Sports aeronautics is developing in two directions. The first really provides for the performance of certain tasks (to fly the distance in the minimum amount of time, climb to the maximum possible height, go over a certain target (to confirm which the aeronauts drop a marker on the ground - a tape with a bag filled with sand tied to it), etc. .) or tricks (for example, transferring from one ball to another, taking place during the flight) or participation in competitions that remotely resemble various games. The second direction of sports aeronautics is to create balloons of unusual shapes (in the form of vegetables, fruits, animals, household items, etc.). There is a prize for the smallest and largest, most unusual and ugliest ball.

There are many terms for naming balloons. Yes it is. The first balloon (thermal) was named hot air balloon - in honor of the inventors of this design, the Montgolfier brothers. At the same time, there were charlieres - aircrafts (gas) created by the Frenchman Jacques Charles. The combined designs invented by Jean François Pilatre-de-Rosier were called rosiers. There was also the term "balloon" used to refer to all types of balloons. In 1784, Pierre Blanchard equipped the balloon with a propeller - controlled structures of this kind were named airships (from the French dirigeable - controlled). In 1900, rigid airships were named zeppellins - in honor of Count F. Zepellin. Nowadays there is another type of balloons used for flights in the stratosphere and called stratospheric balloons.

Modern balloon baskets are made from synthetic materials. This is not entirely true. Both in the old days and today, willow vines are most often used as the material for the gondola. Baskets made of plastic, fiberglass and aluminum have not yet gained much popularity.

It takes quite a long time to fill the balloon with hot air. No, in good weather, thanks to the well-coordinated efforts of the team (at least 3 people), the balloon can be prepared for take-off in 15-20 minutes. It will take approximately the same amount of time to fold the balloon after flight.

A person who is afraid of heights will not be able to fly in a balloon. Misconception. Firstly, this structure moves so slowly that the movement is hardly felt by passengers. Secondly, it is the balloon - the only aircraft - that is capable of flying at a very low altitude with the possibility of "hovering" in any place the pilot likes, for example, over the surface of a lake.

Hot air balloon flights can be operated at any time of the day. Yes, this is so, provided that the wind speed at the earth's surface does not exceed 7 m / s and the weather is athermal (i.e., there are no strong ascending air currents generated from the heating of the earth's surface by the sun). However, the most appropriate time to fly is morning and evening, as the wind usually dies down after sunrise and before sunset.

Gas and heat balls differ only in shape. No, the differences between these designs are somewhat deeper. The balloon filled with gas is hermetically sealed, and the thermal balloon filled with heated air is a dome with an opening. Some balls are a combination of the two above.

The balloon is capable of lifting 2-3 people into the air. It depends on what type of balloon we are talking about. Sports models are usually designed for one person, balloons used for entertainment or advertising purposes can lift more than 10 passengers into the air.

Heat balls are inflated with heated air; hydrogen is used to fill gas ones. To fill heat balls, not only warm air is used, but also a mixture of propane and butane, and helium is increasingly being used to raise gas balls into the air. The fact is that hydrogen is highly flammable, and when combined with air it forms an explosive mixture, so even a slight damage to the balloon shell can pose a danger to the life and health of aeronautics. Helium, on the other hand, is not flammable, and its lifting force is not much less than that of hydrogen, therefore it is a complete and safe replacement for hydrogen (the exception is stratospheric balloons, which must rise to an altitude of more than 1000 m - they are filled only with hydrogen).

In order to keep the hot air balloon in the air, the pilot periodically turns on the burner. But there are exceptions to this rule. For example, solar thermal balloons, due to the design features (the shell material allows for a long time to keep the temperature difference between the air inside the shell and the environment at 30 degrees, and the shell itself is 3 times more than that of conventional balloons) use the heat of the sun to lift, therefore, a burner is not required.

Balloons are used to study the composition of the Earth's atmosphere. Yes, moreover, structures of this kind are used to study the composition of the atmosphere of the planets of the solar system. For example, one of the tasks of the Soviet interplanetary automatic stations "Vega 1" and "Vega 2" was the delivery of specially equipped balloons to Venus, which, moving in the planet's atmosphere, carried out its analysis and transmitted data to Earth.

The hotter the air in a thermal balloon, the higher it will fly. Yes, but keep in mind that if the temperature is too high (more than 100 ° C), the nylon shell of the ball will melt, which can lead to an accident.

Steve Vossen was the first to fly around the globe. This is not true. The first round-the-world flight (albeit with three landings) was made in 1929 on the Graf Zepellin airship, built in Germany. In 21 days, the aircraft covered a distance of 35 thousand km at a speed of about 177 km / h. Later, repeated attempts were made to make a non-stop flight around the Earth. In January 1981 (Max Leroy Andersen and Don Ida covered a distance of 4302 km on a Jules Verne balloon), 1993 (a completely unsuccessful attempt - the Virgin-Earthwinds balloon never took off) and 1997 (Steve Fossett was forced to was to interrupt the flight due to problems with the crossing of Libyan airspace). Finally, on March 20, 1999, Englishman Brian Jones and Swiss Bertrand Picard made their first round-the-world voyage in a Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon, covering a distance of 40,814 km in 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes. Steve Fossett made a non-stop flight a little later - on July 3, 2002, he flew 34,242 km in a Bud Light Spirit of Freedom balloon, spending 13 days 8 hours 33 minutes.

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