Here is what make it possible! :
It work like a common hot air balloon but the heat is produced by the
envelop it self rather than by a burner as is usually seen on those
balloons. The envelope is made of a very light and strong rip stopping
fabric. This fabric is coated with a special component that renders it
airtight and also makes it possible to efficiently convert ambient
radiation into heat. This heat is then transferred to the air within
the balloon by direct contact.
We use a ripstop fabric made of a high tenacity nylon fibres
woven on special looms resulting in constructions that are light, low
porosity, and durable. They are impregnated with PU and woven with a
ripstop pattern (this is an integrally woven pattern of heavier yarns
within a fabric to restrict tear and crazing.)
- The sun energy at ground level is about 1000 W per square
- The balloon is made of an envelope capable collecting the
sun energy (special fabric with a special coating).
- It is inflated with ambient air.
- The envelope pickup enough of the sun energies to heat the
air within the balloon.
We finish these basic constructions with our
proprietary coating helping for infra red heating .
These fabrics in they're basic form, have set the
standard in both performance and durability, having swept the last
three America’s Cups.
Here is a cross cut of the materal used :
In order to inflate the balloons we use a high
current speed controler and an electric fan.
This controler uses readily available and rugged electronic component
and take it's current from 2 little motorcycle battery for the standard
the blimp prototype use the same current speed
controler for it's electric engine but power comes from solar
here is the electronic controler (Pulse Width Modulator)
it generate low curent pulses on a fixed frequancy
if the pulses ar kept nil or very chort there is no
or very little curent flowing through the circuit
if we alow the pulse to end right at the time when the next one begins
the curent is always "on" we have maximum curent (max power)
those pulses are then amplified to higher curent but still 24v
for the engine
through the power board (power modulator).
they are produced 15 000 times per second so it feel
like a continuous comand for both the pilot and the engine.
Research axis we are actually exploring :
- new fabric with different solar energy recovery
- new concept of electric motor with slow rotation
speed and very high torque.
- integration of computer generated maps with GPS
data and predictive local micro aerology.
- study of the concept feasibility of a new Stirling
engine adapted to our balloons.
- a ballast managing system that increase endurance.
- co-generation of electricity and heat for our
balloons during night flight with a clean energy source.
What is Starfield-Balloons ? :
- Starfield-balloons is a new, very little
innovative company created by Alexander Voivoditch and Mireille
Boucabeil the goal is to develop and promote alternative ways of
ballooning and flying we also try to help others people by
demonstrating the potential of alternatives sources of
We will do that by doing free demonstration for
other companies or activity's involved in ecology or clean energy.
The public is always very impressed by the concept wen they see it fly.
Once the balloon is inflated it weighs 2.2 metric ton, peoples ask a
lot of questions they are always very impressed to see it fly with only
the sun power.
It should be noted that a conventional hot air balloon flying for about
an hour or two burn enough gas to heat up a 150 square yards house for
- We are a small team of 2 people full-time , some
part time peoples , and highly skilled sub contractors.
- The company work like a very high quality craftsman shop ;
we plan on taking only a few order per year and get in personal touch
with each of our customer. We can, to some extent do some custom
- The goal is high quality not quantity.
- We are also involved in some
scientific study and near space operations we also support Michel
Fournier who hold the French altitude record for freefall from 12 000m
(39 370.00 ft) : the new jump will be a historic supersonic free fall
from a height of 130 000 ft with a space suit. Members of the team
contains among others very high ranking specialists, 2 rather famous
European astronauts : Jean-Francois Clervoy and Michel Tognini (space
Michel Fournier has 8500 jumps, among them 100 at very high altitude
over 8000 m (26 246.00 ft).
We are trying to help finding sponsors, so here is the link to his site
- We are Actually located in Marseille in France
and most of the solar balloon tests are performed in the French Rivera
or off shore from a sailing boat.
- We have the help of forest service and
local coast guard that allow us to do our tests thanks to the inherent
safety of our balloons.
Any ways, the place is far from good for ballooning so we plan on
moving to the French Alps or Canada or northern U.S.A. (we need empty
balloon entirely fit into a car or prefferably probably over it and
there still remain seats available
possible to inflate the balloon by using muscular energy alone or with
a small electric fan powered by a 8ah or better 16ah battery
movable because it weigh only 85 lb.; there is no need for a trailer
and ground crew
balloon is spreaded out on the ground of the hangar for a final check
before flight test for validation of the new envelope
flight. Use readily available paraglider accessories here a
harness with airbag and ballast integration
- No need to use a burner that may ignite the envelope.
- No flammable gas within the envelope or in tank.
- No pressure tank difficult to manage.
- The balloon does have a great inertia and doesn't display
any "sharp" behavior.
- Great conspicuity during day.
- If the sun get obscured the descent velocity is very low
because the envelop behave like a giant parachute.
SIMPLICITY OF USAGE
- No need to have a trailer the balloon entirely fit
into a car, there still remain two seats available, but a pickup truck
is the best.
- No need to have a big "ground crew" a helper is
enough. It is even possible to launch alone but some one will be needed
to pick you up.
- Easily movable because it weighs only 85 lbs it
can be carried over the head or easily by 2 people in its bag.
- The balloon inflates from within it's bag there is
no need to spread it out on the field.
- It only needs a grass or sand and obstacles free
field, for takeoff and landing, a smooth rock field is possible if
there is no wind at all.
- It can use 12v battery such as that of the car to
inflates or even a small motorcycle battery (8Ah) if a takeoff from a
remote field is a possibility.
- If there is no wind teetered flight is possible
and easy it doesn't cost anything.
- Inflating can also be performed on the sea from a
boat the velocity of the boat can cancel that of the wind (if light and
there is no swell) during the inflating process (here pilot flotation
device is absolutely mandatory)
- The ecology is total because there is no exhaust gas.
- It doesn't use a filling gas that needs polluting industry
to be produced.
- It only use ambient air and sun energy in total silence
- The autonomy is only dependent of the sun radiation.
- There is no residual lifting gas leaks
- And there is no fuel consumption for the burner
- It is much cheaper to use than any other balloon
- It only uses the sun radiation.
- It do not need expensive helium gas that cost
around 20$ per cubic meter no need for tanks either
HIGH ALTITUDE POTENTIAL
The common balloons have some limitations:
None of those limits affect the solar balloons!
- In order to gain altitude a common hot air balloon must
carry enough gas in tanks to reach and maintain targeted altitude
- This does limit the available payload for the pilot and
limit the autonomy
- In order to gain altitude the under filled gas balloon must
drop ballast to begin ascent this ballast does limit the available
payload for the pilot
- And if already fully inflated the gas filled balloon must
vent out expensive gas while climbing to avoid envelope over pressure
- In order to loose altitude the gas filled balloon must vent
out gas to begin descent
- Without a human payload the altitude reached by a solar
balloon can be as high as 50 000 ft
- Plastic solar balloon with probes have gone as high as 100
- In our balloon to gain altitude you just let some more air
go into the envelope after a while it will get hot and the balloon will
- In our balloon to loose altitude you just vent out hot air
and the balloon will descend.
- There is also ballast that can be available to quickly
arrest a descent should it be needed but it is not a controlling means,
only an emergency lift reserve.
- Vertical velocity :
The normal ascent or descent velocity is around 200 ft/min
the cold descent is 600 ft/min
- Inflation deflation time :
Inflation can take between 15 and 30 minute depending on the fan used
- Warm-up time :
It will take 30 min from the beginning of the inflation in good sun
condition and no wind
it can be longer depending on the weight of the pilot
- Good free weather forecast here http://www.windguru.cz/int/
Here perf_computer applet
This applet permits you to check the lift possibility of the balloon at
the difference between ambient temperature at your altitude and ambient
temperature at your altitude from standard atmosphere (delta I.S.A.
the altitude (feet)
the difference between ambient temperature and the temperature inside
the envelope (it is about 20 Celsius with good sun conditions)
the balloon envelope weight (40 kilograms for all balloons at present
the envelope volume (2200 cubic meters for all balloons at present
| Balloon envelope
ready to fly with suspension cables and control cables (suspension
cables are set for use with a harness and not for a
|| 13 000.00 Euros
16 624.00 USD
| 7 000.00 Euros
8 950.00 USD
| 300.00 Euros
crating include carrier bag and delivery bag
| Harness with
| 600.00 Euros
|| Included with
balloon bag if ordered with harness
| Hand actuated fan
here (do not need battery)
|| 400.00 Euros
|| Depend of post
Take the next step!
We hope the information here has answered a lot of your questions about
owning,and flying one of the starfield balloons, the most ecologic and
economic aerostat on the market today. We can also arrange a
demonstration flight near you under certain conditions, and we stand by
to answer any other questions you might have about this new ecologic
kind of flying :
Mail adress :
43 bd vincent delpuech 13006