Aircraft

FlyDOO may be to balloons what ultralights are to airplanes

FlyDOO may be to balloons what...
The two-person FlyDOO basket, with its diminutive burner and "vectored thrust unit"
The two-person FlyDOO basket, with its diminutive burner and "vectored thrust unit"
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The FlyDOO basket can reportedly be assembled onsite by one person in 5 to 10 minutes
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The FlyDOO basket can reportedly be assembled onsite by one person in 5 to 10 minutes
The two-person FlyDOO basket, with its diminutive burner and "vectored thrust unit"
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The two-person FlyDOO basket, with its diminutive burner and "vectored thrust unit"
The whole FlyDOO system can reportedly be stored in an apartment
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The whole FlyDOO system can reportedly be stored in an apartment
Known as the WeDOO1600, the FlyDOO envelope is claimed to be the world's lightest of its size, along with the most compact when folded
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Known as the WeDOO1600, the FlyDOO envelope is claimed to be the world's lightest of its size, along with the most compact when folded
View gallery - 4 images

For many of us earthbound types, hot air ballooning can be quite intimidating. Italian aviation entrepreneur Leandro Corradini is trying to make it less so, with his relatively simple and compact FlyDOO Light Sport Balloon system.

FlyDOO consists of four main parts – the envelope, basket, burner and vectored thrust unit (VTU) – all of which can reportedly be transported in a car and stored in an apartment.

Known as the WeDOO1600, the envelope is claimed to be the world's lightest of its size, along with the most compact when folded (it can be carried in an included backpack). Designed to lift the weight of two passengers when it's filled with hot air, it tips the scales at 34 kg (75 lb) and is made from an existing ripstop material by the name of Skytex.

Known as the WeDOO1600, the FlyDOO envelope is claimed to be the world's lightest of its size, along with the most compact when folded
Known as the WeDOO1600, the FlyDOO envelope is claimed to be the world's lightest of its size, along with the most compact when folded

The 45-kg (99-lb) two-person ECO XL basket features a folding titanium frame, a nylon skin, and four walls plus a non-slip floor that are composed of a lightweight honeycomb sandwich composite material. It contains pockets for various accessories, is capable of carrying up to four gas tanks along with passengers, can reportedly be assembled onsite by one person in 5 to 10 minutes, and can even have wheels put on it and then towed behind a bicycle.

The PockJET burner is said to be the world's smallest and lightest, weighing in at less than 7 kg (15 lb) with two fuel hoses. It can be quickly disconnected from the frame via a spring-assisted mounting system.

The FlyDOO basket can reportedly be assembled onsite by one person in 5 to 10 minutes
The FlyDOO basket can reportedly be assembled onsite by one person in 5 to 10 minutes

Finally, there's the VTU. Described by Corradini as a "gamechanger device," it's basically a battery-powered propeller mounted on the side of the basket. The pilot can point it in different directions like a rudder, both to pivot the balloon on the spot, and to steer it horizontally through the air. Intended to only be used when needed, it weighs 25 kg (55 lb) including the battery pack.

It's demonstrated in the video at the bottom of the page.

Plans call for FlyDOO to be the subject of an upcoming Kickstarter campaign, which interested parties can access via the link below once it launches. Leandro tells us that the complete system should sell for €30,000 (US$35,000).

Source: FlyDOO

VTU Moments

View gallery - 4 images
7 comments
S Michael
Landing look a little rough.
Paulinator
"like pushing a candle thru a brick" aLBERTO sANTOS-dUMONT
Grunchy
Very cool. Makes me appreciate the skill it takes to be a balloon pilot who doesn't get hung up in the trees or crash into the freeway!
jerryd
Give me an aero tube shaped one filled with H2 would be much smaller, safer, faster, more maneuverable, cheaper. With film solar cells and a small pack you could get rid of the gas engine.
ljaques
I guess that $35k is a going price for that size loon. But I wonder how many bicycle hub motors will be converted to propulsion for the skies in the near future. If nothing else, the motor would make for safer landings. (1st/3rd great, 2nd could have been better) Cool tool!
Rustin Lee Haase
So much fuel in the tanks...need for electricity for motor...thinking about fuel cells instead of battery :-)
Tom Lee Mullins
I would not consider that new. I have read and looked up online about hot air ships. It is like a blimp but using hot air like a hot air balloon but has the shape of a non-rigid or semi-rigid airship.