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Railed Hot Air Balloon Ride

Children's county fair balloon ride
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Hot air balloons are quite difficult to control and expensive to operate. I propose setting up a long, continuous rail that pulls tethered, diminutive, helium-filled "hot air" balloons around in a large loop encompassing the grounds.
spiraliii, Mar 07 2007

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       Why not skip the balloon and set up a monorail?
GutPunchLullabies, Mar 07 2007
  

       There's a ride like that down at the local amusement park. The balloons are fiberglass with no helium, and it only goes in circles, but the kids seem happy.
baconbrain, Mar 07 2007
  

       They're sad on the inside.
Texticle, Mar 07 2007
  

       Why pull the cars? If the car and balloon combination have positive buoyancy, the car will accelerate going uphill. If you have a mechanism to adjust the balloon's buoyancy at the top of the hill to negative, it will accelerate via gravity going downhill. As long as the track is never flat, the only power you need to contribute to the system is the pump or plunger you have changing the balloon's displacement or whatever. Make the balloons "blimp" or sausage shaped to minimize air drag.   

       If you make a long straight track, between U.S. states, say, and have the tracks exhibit regular shallow up and down grades, you could have lighter than air long distance trains.
diesixdie, Jan 17 2009
  
      
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