Ballooning is not a sport for the impatient.
Today’s invention attempts to reduce both the awful hanging about and the potential damage to the balloon’s surface which conventional approaches entail.
The balloon basket (yellow) has a burner unit attached permanently above (red). Located above that is a telescopic carbon-fibre tower with a ‘mushroom’ on top.
The balloon is transported on top of the mushroom with the tower retracted. On arrival, the tower is lengthened, lifting the balloon upwards and sucking in air via the pipe at the bottom right. The burner is fired and the envelope inflated.
The tower and mushroom fly inside the inflated balloon and support it again on landing.
No more dropping the fragile balloon on the surface of an unfamiliar field, trampling about inside and flapping the edge ineffectually before engaging the burner in the hope that the weather won’t worsen.