The Basket

The basket is the bottom part of the balloon. It carries the passengers, pilot and propane gas cylinders. Baskets come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, some smaller for the more intimate flights for 2-3 people, right through to the larger sizes (20+) used for public flights.

Most baskets these days are woven from Kooboo and Palambang cane as these materials are extremely sturdy, flexible and relatively lightweight. The cane has proven to be the most hardwearing and durable material, even more so than aluminium or some composite plastics. The basket must be extremely strong as it is constantly on the move, being shifted from place to place and also when the balloon actually lands there is a large amount of force exerted on it as it hits the floor and comes to a halt. The flexibility of the cane helps with the balloon landing as wicker material flexes a little, absorbing some of the energy.

Types of basket

Baskets can be completely tailor made to a set specification, from everything to the wall height and width, material used for padding, what material the floor is to be made out, whether passenger seats are required, etc...

There are 2 main types of basket, Open and T-partition. The difference is fairly self explanatory here, open is obviously an open space where the passengers, pilot and fuel are all housed in the basket in just 1 compartment and T-partition is where the basket is split into sections so the passengers can be separated from the pilot and canisters. The T-partitions main advantages over the open are that it is fact a stronger structure due to the extra struts and also that the balloon remains more balanced overall as weight can be spread evenly over each compartment.

Some examples: