Jacek Proniewicz travel blog

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Archive for ‘January, 2014’

How the hot air balloons works

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Hot air balloons are an ingenious application of basic scientific principles. Here we will show exactly how the balloon works, what makes it rise and fall and how a pilot is able to maneuver it when it is in the air.

The basis of how the balloon works is that warmer air rises in cooler air. This is because hot air is lighter than cool air as it has less mass per unit of volume. Mass can be defined by the measure of how much matter something contains. The actual balloon (called an envelope) has to be so large as it takes such a large amount of heated air to lift it off the ground. For example, to lift 1000 pounds worth of weight you would need almost 65,000 cubic feet of heated air! To help keep the balloon in the air and rising, hot air needs to be propelled upwards into the envelope using the burner (see separate section on burners for more information.)

A hot air balloon is made up of 3 main parts:

The Envelope
The actual fabric balloon which holds the air

The Burner
The unit which propels the heat up inside the envelope

The Basket
Where the passengers and pilot stand

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The burner uses propane gas to heat up the air in the envelope to move the balloon off the ground and into the air. The pilot must keep firing the burner at regular intervals throughout the flight to ensure that the balloon continues to be stable. Naturally, the hot air will not escape from the hole at the very bottom of the envelope as firstly, hot air rises and secondly, the buoyancy keeps it moving up.

The controls for piloting a balloon are actually extremely simple….

1 – To move the balloon upwards – the pilot opens up the propane valve which lets the propane flow to the burner which in turn fires the flame up into the envelope. Works in much the same way as a gas grill, the more you open the valve, the bigger the flame to heat the air, the faster the balloon rises.

2 – To move the balloon downwards – the ‘Parachute Valve’ at the very top of the balloon is what is used to bring the balloon down towards the ground. It is essentially a circle of fabric cut out of the top of the envelope which is controlled by a long chord which runs down through the middle of the envelope to the basket. If the pilot wants to bring the balloon down he simply pulls on the chord which will open the valve, letting hot air escape, decreasing the inner air temperature. This cooling of air causes the balloon to slow its ascent.

So essentially this takes care of the up and down movement, so how does the balloon move from place to place? Again the answer is very simple, the pilot can maneuver horizontally by changing the vertical position of the balloon because the wind blows in different directions at different altitudes. If the pilot wants to move in a particular direction they simply ascend and descend to the appropriate level and ride with the wind.

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NORIAKI KASAI ,41 years old veteran from Japan kick asses to all young jumpers from all over the world today in Austria ,BRAVO

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Noriaki Kasai
With his first win in the World Cup since more than ten years Japanese Noriaki Kasai is now the oldest winner in World Cup history. At age 41 (41 years, seven months and four days to be exact) the ski flying World Champion of 1992 won with jumps on 196 m and 197 m and a total of 391.6 points ahead of the 20 years younger Slovene Peter Prevc and record World Cup winner Gregor Schlierenzauer.

Right after Kasai’s final jump, Schlierenzauer, Prevc, Kamil Stoch and Wolfgang Loitzl congratulated him in the outrun, while Japanese coach Yokokawa celebrated with his colleagues.

“I believe in my physical and mental strength. It’s a great day for me. I have no secret, of course I have a lot of experience and this is an advantage. I love ski flying, last winter I could further improve my performance in Planica”, Kasai said after his triumph.

Prevc, fourth in the 4-Hills-Tournament and already on the podium in Oberstdorf and Bischofshofen, jumped on 199 m (the longest jump of the day) and 190.5 m, Schlierenzauer, who achieved his first podium finish since about a month, landed at 194 m twice.

“I don’t know exactly why it’s going so well. I want to congratulate Noriaki. I hope that I can again show two good jumps tomorrow. There are still little things that I can improve and I have to work on that”, said Prevc. And Schlierenzauer was satisfied with his performance in front of his home crowd: “It’s something special when you return to the podium. The 4-Hills-Tournament didn’t go that well for me. Today was a step in the right direction. I’m proud that I made it on the podium today. It’s special to fly at the Kulm and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow. This is the right way towards Sochi and I try to get back to where I belong.”

Severin Freund presented himself in an improved shape and came in fourth with 190 m and 181 m (358.4 points). This was his best result since his win in Lillehammer. Ski flying World Champion Robert Kranjec achieved his best result this season in fifth, 1.2 points behind Freund. World Champion Kamil Stoch was sixth with 354.2 points and defended the yellow bib of the World Cup leader. Jurij Tepes completed the outstanding team performance of Slovenia in seventh. Four points behind Andreas Wellinger, Canadian Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes came in on a career best ninth place with 348.2 points. Michael Hayboeck completed the Top 10 with 347.2 points.

Four time Olympic champion Simon Ammann moved up from 24th to 11th in the final and missed the Top 10 by only 1.6 points, Manuel Poppinger achieved his best World Cup result so far in 12th. Wolfgang Loitzl and the best Czech, Jan Matura, shared the 12th place. A week after his nomination for the Olympic team, young German Marinus Kraus was 16th, Austria’s ski flying specialist was 18th after he was not on the team for the 4-Hills-Tournament. The only Finn in the final round, Jarkko Maeaettae, was 27th. German record holder Michael Neumayer followed in 28th.

Text and photo EUROSPORT

Gstaad at night

Gstaad is the village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a major ski resort and a popular destination amongst high-class society and the international jet set. The winter campus of the Institute Le Rosey is located in Gstaad. Gstaad has a population of about 3,200 and is located 1,050 metres (3,445 feet) above sea level

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Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alps (220 km (137 mi) of slopes). The middle of the village features a picturesque promenade bounded by numerous shops, restaurants, art galleries, and hotels. Designer labels including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chopard, Brunello Cucinelli, Prada, Moncler, Ralph Lauren, and Cartier all have stores in Gstaad, while many smaller boutiques stock labels such as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Tod’s, Burberry, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, and Marc Jacobs.

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Lenk in Simmental and Zweisimmen ski resort

Lenk im Simmental (or simply Lenk) is a municipality in the Obersimmental-Saanen administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.

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Lenk is the highest municipality in Simmental. The municipal area includes many mountains, the highest of which is the Wildstrubel (3,243 m (10,640 ft)). Somewhat below the Wildstrubel, by the Siebenbrunnen (“seven fountains”) comes the Simme River, which gives Simmental (“Simme Valley”) its name. A number of creeks flow into the Simme, and the Iffig Creek and the Iffigfall (its waterfall) are attractions for hikers.

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Simmenfalle waterfall

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Lenk

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Zweisimmen – Holiday resort

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Zweisimmen is located in the greenest valley of Europe called “Simmental” The historic trade city is also known as “the gate to the famous city of Gstaad”. Zweisimmen lies in midst of soft hills and at the bottom of the wellliked Mount Rinderberg. It is an excellent spot for enjoyable and restful summer and winter vacations and for exploring the destination of Gstaad and the valleys “Saanenland” and “Simmental”. In winter, the area offers a plenty of winter hiking trails.

Zweisimmen is popular for its four panoramic hiking trails and over 300 kilometers of hiking routes. Put on the hiking boots and explore our soft hills while you stroll through the pretty landscape. The area has several well marked routes available that guarantee fitness and fun. The Trotti-Bike ride from Sparenmoos to Zweisimmen is the perfect alternative for families. We recommend the luxurious Golden Panoramic Express train excursion from Zweisimmen via Gstaad to Montreux on Lake Geneva. Also in Zweisimmen you can swim – either in the Lake Seeberg or in the outdoor swimming pool. The local rivers Simme or Saane are ideal streams for river rafting.

Winter wonder land

Zweisimmen is also a paradise for winter hiking. Numerous good prepared trails await you. Enjoy the sun, the glittering snow and snow-covered meadows and forests. The high plateau Sparenmoos is a protected area and perfect for a snowshoe or a winter hiking tour. On well prepared cross country skiing trails you can enjoy nature, healthy air and beautiful views.

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