[balloon-makers] Construction Systems

Bob LeDoux bobledoux at proaxis.com
Sat Jan 26 18:59:29 CST 2002

When I started building balloons, I decided that I wanted a clear
understanding of an acceptable construction system, in all the details,
before I started to build something I would fly.  I consider my neck and
pocket book worth that much.

So, I started looking around at balloon factory repair manuals.  I bought a
Balloons Work manual, about 1985, and wasn't very impressed.  During an
annual inspection of my factory balloon, I hand a chance to look at the
Aerostar repair manual--I was impressed.  Here, all the details in
construction were clearly presented, including standrds that answered all
of my questions.

Their manual is expensive, but not as expensive as getting halfway through
a project and no longer having the confidence that the result will be safe
to fly.  Aerostar is a very liability conscious company--some would argue
that lawyers drive their polices--but a new builder needs all the
confidence building that can be found.  Try telling a spouse that you are
going to build and fly your own aircraft--especially if your last bookcase
project fell apart when books were placed on it.

I think you get the idea.  The planning and learning part of a building
project take first priority.  Don't start building until you have a clear
idea about the  scope of the project, the kinds of decisions that need to
be made, or until you are comfortable that a safe result is do-able.

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