News

Level Flight with Latex Balloons

Level Flight with Latex Balloons

The Boomerang Balloon Altitude Control System at altitude, venting.Smith & Williamson currently offers the only commercially available altitude control system for level flight with latex balloons and has sold units to university and NASA researchers. For more about Boomerang: The Complete Small Balloon Flight Control System, see here.

History of Level Flight with Latex Balloons

Component parts of the Mastenbrook balloon control valve
Component parts of the Mastenbrook balloon control valve

The idea of venting helium from a latex balloon is not new. The earliest published examples that we are aware of were completed in the 1950-60’s (Laby, 1956 & Mastenbrook, 1966). Controls ranged from balloon size string-operated valves to more advanced elctro-mechanical valves. Uses for this technology at the time was to expose nuclear emulsion plates to cosmic radiation and to provide both ascent and descent stratospheric water vapor measurements. Read more about Level Flight with Latex Balloons