The Burner

The Burner is like the engine of the hot air balloon. It is what propels the hot air up into the envelope to make the balloon move upwards. There are many different types of burner available - single, double, up to quad systems, depending on the size of the balloon flying.

These days, due to the advancement in balloon technology, it is also possible to get the burner designed to your own specific requirements. For example, if you required an ultra quiet flame system this can be arranged.

How the burner works

Modern hot air balloons use propane in the burner to heat the air. The propane is stored in cylinders which are kept in the balloon basket, along with the passengers and the pilot. The propane is highly compressed in the cylinders and flows to the burner in liquid form. When the pilot starts the burner up, the propane flows to it and is ignited by a pilot light.

As the flame burns, it heats up the metal in the surrounding tubing and when the tubing becomes hot it heats the propane flowing through it. This process changes the propane from a liquid to a gas before it is ignited. The gas makes for a more powerful flame and an overall more efficient fuel consumption.

Types of burner systems

You can get a wide variety of different burner systems. They differ mainly in the number of actual burners included.

Most popular is the double burner which is made up of two burner coils but it is also possible to get triple and quad systems where three or four burners are linked together, obviously providing a much more powerful flame.

A balloon can be powered by just a single burner, it all depends on the size of the envelope. On smaller balloons, with one or two passengers, a single system will normally suffice; it's the larger commercial flights where the more powerful systems need to be introduced.

For more detailed information about specific types of burners and the technology involved visit the burners section on the Lindstrand Balloons website.