Hot Air Balloon

For my fundamentals of design class, my final project is to design a vessel in which an egg may be dropped from a four-story drop point. Survival is not required if it is part of the design, i.e. dropping eggs into a frying pan.

There are some stipulations to the design:

– Only materials that would have been available to Leonardo Davinci (c. 1450) may be used to build the device.
– The device should have some relevance to eggs (i.e. it’s shaped like a chicken).
– The device must weigh less than 5 pounds before the egg is placed inside it.

My good friend Erica helped me come up with the idea to build a hot air balloon to drop the egg in. I don’t know whether to hug her or kick her. (I love you, Erica!)

Anyway, since the drop point we’re using is inside the school, I had to get permission to go forward with this design and of course my professor got pretty excited about the prospect of a home-made hot air balloon. He came up with some alternate outdoor drop points for my project and told me I have to build a stove to heat the balloon. He gave me special permission to ignore the material restrictions on the stove, thank GOD.

SO… here’s what I’m devising:

I’m figuring if 9-year-olds can make these hot air balloons out of tissue paper, I can probably make it work too. (Scroll down to the bottom to see the finished balloons; they’re really pretty.) I’ve been told we don’t need to press our own paper for this project, which is nice. (*eyeroll*)

Attached to the inside of the bottom (somehow), I’ll put some derivation of this stove in order to give the balloon enough heat to provide lift. Looks like I’ll have to drink some Pepsi and beer. OH DAMN.

Then I guess I have to attach some sort of basket to put the egg in. I haven’t investigated that too much. I’m thinking it probably doesn’t need to have too much insulation to protect the egg, being that it should just float gracefully to the ground. Assuming, of course, that it doesn’t fly away into another zip code. Looks like I will have to take up basket weaving as well. Because, you know, why not?

Anyhoo. I promise to keep you all apprised of the progress I make on this project, since I know you all will be dying to know how I (and the egg) fare. Maybe I can figure out some way to video the launch, er, I mean, drop.

Yep. I am doing great things with my art degree.


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