Hot Air Balloon Sizzles In The Sky

A project by Natalie and Cheyenne

Materials That Blew Our Socks Off

  • Tin Foil
  • Thin Beading Wire
  • Thicker Metal Wire
  • 16 Gallon Garbage Bag
  • 2 Cotton Balls
  • 7 ml Rubbing Alcohol

Flamin' Designs

Our initial sketch of what our hot air balloon would look like is shown above. Cheyenne and I then did some brainstorming of materials to use and at one point water to substitute the aluminum foil baskets in our designs for a light alternative, chicken wire. We further brainstormed and decided to continue on with tin foil, but adjust different aspects of our design. We decided upon using a larger garbage bag in our second design and by the time we actually built our hot air balloon, we were able to change and problem solve aspects of our design as we went. We further brainstormed during the building process of our hot air ballon, morphing our finished product to be similar to the third image above. We did this through securing thin beading wire to the larger bag tightly and changing our tin foil basket design to be a curved cylindrical shaped carrier instead. We then ran wire through the curved carrier and were able to attach the bead wire around the thick support wire for security. It worked so well that our hot air balloon only required one trial run!

Fiery Trials and Findings

Scorching Success

Here, our hot air balloon is seen in air despite minor technical difficulties where one supporting wire became detached.


*Unfortunately, I was unable to get our actual trial picture from Cheyenne and substituted this image of a similar homemade hot air balloon found on google images.

Working Calculation Sheet

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Final Calculations Sheet

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Flight Log

Our hot air ballon was a lot of fun to make and even more exciting to see lift off of Mrs. Bates' desk and fly! Who knew all of these house hold supplies could turn into something so cool with a little help from Chemistry? Just another way that toys and chemistry go together!