Balloon Glossary


Aeronaut – A pilot or navigator of a balloon
Balloon – See definition of an envelope
Balloon System – A balloon system includes the envelope, basket and burner for a self contained flying vehicle.
Basket – Pilot and passenger compartment attached to a hot air balloon and usually made of wicker, a flexible and lightweight material that provides good shock absorption.
Burner – A system of gas valves and jets fed from a fuel tank (usually propane) the air within the envelope, causing the balloon to rise.
Chase Crew – One or more people who follow a launched balloon and attempt to be wherever the balloon lands. The crew’s responsibilities include helping the pilot to inflate and deflate the balloon.
Envelope – The air bag of a hot air balloon system that is constructed of nylon or polyester fabric coated with polyurethane, which makes less porous and protects it from the sun rays. A framework of nylon webbing is sewn into the fabric, which strengthens the envelope.
Hot Air Balloon – A balloon that uses heated air contained within an envelope. Heated air is less dense than the cooler air surrounding it that allows the balloon to rise.
Lines – Ropes used to move, hold or position a boat or balloon.
Vector – A wind current moving in a specific direction. Balloon pilots look for currents to help carry them toward an objective or target.