The hot air balloon
is the oldest successful human-carrying flight
technology. On November 21, 1783, in Paris
, the first manned flight was made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier
and François Laurent d'Arlandes
in a hot air balloon created by the Montgolfier brothers
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is the gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-altitude balloons, a capsule) which carries the passengers and a source of heat. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the surrounding air. In today's sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex.
Recently, balloon envelopes have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of commercial products. Hot air balloons that can be propelled through the air rather than just being pushed along by the wind are known as airships or, more specifically, thermal airships.
The Beechcraft King Air is a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation (now the Beechcraft Division of Hawker Beechcraft). The King Air has been in continuous production since 1964, the longest production run of any civilian turboprop aircraft. It has outlasted all of its previous competitors and as of 2006 is one of only two twin-turboprop business airplanes in production (the other is the Piaggio Avanti).
Historically, the King Air family comprises a number of models that fall into four families, the Model 90 series, Model 100 series, Model 200 series, and Model 300 series. The last two types were originally marketed as the Super King Air, but the "Super" moniker was dropped in 1996. As of 2006, the only small King Air in production is the conventional-tail C90GT.
- Span: 50 ft 3 in (15.33 m)
- Length: 35 ft 6in (10.82 m)
- Height: 14 ft 3 in (4.35 m)
- Engines: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 turboprops , 550 shp (410 kW) each
- Cruising Speed: 284 mph (247 knots ,457 km/h)
- First Flight: May 1963