Cameron Balloons flying high into the record books!
Cameron Balloons are the largest manufacturer of hot air balloons in the world. From thermal airships to around the world balloons they are a globally recognized brand. At their HQ in Bristol, the team are currently working on an exciting project which could see pilot Fyodor Konyukhov achieve an Around the World Flight in record time!
Today, we speak to David Cameron, Lead Engineer to gain an insight into Cameron Balloons, their new record breaking attempt and how they chose Analox as a key supplier.
“ We sought guidance from NASA on life support systems... The Sub MkIIIF is perfect with it meeting all of our monitoring requirements.”
David Cameron, Lead Engineer
Hi David, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to discuss this exciting project. How did you get involved?
Cameron Balloons are world leaders in the manufacture of hot air balloons. This Ultra long endurance flight is a privately funded venture so we wanted to be able to make it happen.
The challenge came after Fyodor successfully completed a record breaking Round the World flight in 2016. Having previously worked with Fyodor in his 2016 record and as an admirer of his work, we are thrilled to be aiding his challenge.
It is quite an immense challenge. What requirements does the hot air balloon have to meet?
In the past, Fyodor has completed his record breaking attempts using an unpressurised gondola which has limited his altitude. Cameron Balloons are constructing a pressurized capsule, which means Fyodor can fly to an altitude of 40,000 feet (which is higher than most commercial flights). A higher flight altitude gives Fyodor and his co-pilot more choice when navigating the skies. They’ll be able to fly over large thunderstorms thousands of feet tall and search high altitudes for the jet stream, which can boost the balloon to speeds over 100 kmph!
The capsule sounds intriguing, why did you seek assistance from Analox?
Endurance flying for balloons is only possible with new technologies. The life support system is a critical element of the capsule systems and makes the flight possible. We sought guidance from NASA on life support systems and a current employee had also seen some technical demonstrations at Space-X. The most recognized system from this feedback was the Analox Sub MkIIIF analyzer. It is capable of monitoring critical life gases; including oxygen and carbon dioxide, at altitude. The Sub MkIIIF is perfect with it meeting all of our monitoring requirements.
We made contact with Matt Lambert (Analox Group, Senior Account Manager) who offered solid advice and we have just placed an order with Analox. We are hoping, as COVID restrictions continue to ease, to invite a team from Analox on site in Bristol to see the units in situ within the capsule.
The capsule is currently being built in a single site based in Bristol. It will be approximately 5 meters long with a 2.5m diameter, The balloon will be a huge 50 meters tall and will take at least two days to fill.
Launch for this record breaking attempt is planned for the Summer of 2022 in Australia, so watch this space!
To view more on this record attempt and Cameron Balloons visit: Cameron Balloons
If you’re interested in gas analyzers for use at altitude, contact the Analox sales team for advice on the right gas monitoring system for you.