The Envelope or load lifting part of the system
The envelope contains air that when heated becomes thinner and lighter than the outside air. The hot air trapped inside the envelope behaves like a lifting gas such as Hydrogen or Helium. By using the Burner to add heat or by waiting to let the envelope air cool off you can vary the lift. The fabric has a temperature red line of 250-300 degrees which must not be exceeded.
The envelope is constructed of Polyester or Nylon and is sewn from many panels and gores (the long vertical sections). At the edges of each gore is a sewn in load tape or rope which runs all the way from a ring at the top or "crown" down to the suspension cables which attach to the Basket.
The life span of an envelope is anywhere from 200 to 500 hrs. of flight time. This depends on the quality of the fabric, how well one takes care of it and of course the luck and skill of the pilot ;-)
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