Balloon Tallinn flies only when the weather is safe for passengers.
Every morning before opening the Balloon Tallinn service for passengers, the flight crew will conduct a test to determine ride feasibility. If ground conditions are suitable, Balloon Tallinn will be unmoored and a test ride is carried out, checking the wind speed during the whole trip to the maximum height of 120 meters. Weather conditions must be favorable for any rides. Even if the weather seems fine on the ground, radars and other measurement systems must determine the weather conditions for up to 120 meters. The flight crew monitors conditions constantly to enable Balloon Tallinn to start at any time.
The flight crew also monitors the weather in the vicinity and makes predictions. In case of safe weather, Balloon Tallinn is cleared for take-off with passengers. If conditions in the morning are unsuitable, Balloon Tallinn is on hold until the conditions improve and the crew can conduct a new test ride. This process is repeated several times throughout the day.
Piloting Balloon Tallinn
The balloon is tethered to the ground with a cable (a minimum holding capacity of 42 tons) and controlled by means of an electrical winch system. It is 136 tons of concrete and an 11-ton winch that fix the balloon to the ground. Two flight operators pilot Balloon Tallinn at all times – one on board and one on the ground. All Balloon Tallinn flight operators are specially-trained and certified employees.
The gondola fits up to 30 passengers, dependent on the weight of the people and the speed of the wind – the higher the wind speed, the fewer passengers. Balloon Tallinn allows safe rides in wind of up to 12 m/s.
Flights in rain or snow
Rain or snow do not interfere with flying, the important thing is to dress for the weather. The balloon has a special rain guard that protects passengers from direct rain.
Balloon Tallinn composition
The balloon is made of special canvas that is covered on both sides with a polyurethane layer that works as a barrier to helium loss from inside and protects the material against UV radiation from outside. The balloon’s lifespan is on average 4-5 years, depending on the UV radiation intensity and the level of pollution and humidity.
Balloon Tallinn is filled with helium, a completely inert, clean, non-toxic, non-explosive, non-flammable and odorless noble gas. The winch system has a triple back-up system and a local back-up generator.
The octagonal gondola is attached to the helium balloon with a special net draped over the balloon. The range of vision from the gondola is unhindered (in the open air) but enclosed in the safety net.
Balloon Tallinn safety
Balloon Tallinn operations – Hiflyer in technical terms – is regulated with aviation regulations in Estonia. Flying in such a Hiflyer helium balloon is as safe as flying in a plane.
Balloon Tallinn manufacturer
The Balloon Tallinn helium balloon was produced in England by Lindstrand Technologies Ltd. (LTL), the leading innovator, developer and producer of lighter-than-air flying devices. The founder, patron and leader of the company is Per Lindstrand, an engineer and pilot well known in the flight industry. Products certified in 48 countries and a perfect safety reputation make LTL the world’s most versatile manufacturer of airships, gas balloons, tethered helium balloons and hi-tech inflatable structures.
Among many other awards, LTL in partnership with Daimler Chrysler Aerospace of Germany was awarded a design contract in 1999 by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a high altitude long endurance airship. In 2002, LTL was awarded the contract to design and manufacture the parachute for the planned Mars landing – Beagle 2. This was to be the most advanced parachute in the world. In 2003 the Beagle 2 landed successfully on Mars.
Balloon Tallinn type helium balloons in the rest of the world
Every location offering Hiflyer rides is unique. By today, LTL has installed over 40 Hiflyers in 18 different countries. There are approximately 15 Hiflyers currently active in the world.