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#1 David

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:26 PM

Has anyone else had this problem with Sky Lanterns? When it's warm, they struggle to rise- I've found that once they are "up" they will stay up- I'm yet to have a disaster where one starts moving back down towards the ground, but never the less, it can be frustrating!

The physics behind this is pretty obvious, of course- the warm air rises, but if the surrounding air is too warm, that is where the issue lies.

Does anyone know what a "perfect" outside air temperature for Sky Lanterns would be?

There is also the issue that if the air is very cold, then the fuel cell won't be able to heat the air in the ballon to a sufficient temperature for it to rise.

Finally, just wondering, what is an average price for these? Around the £3 mark sounds about right, typically discounted if bought in bulk. I have noticed, too, that quality CAN vary a bit.

This is also worth reading, about a British alternative- UFO Balloons

Edited by David, 05 July 2009 - 04:31 PM.

OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#2 Mixologist

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 07:38 PM

If Matt at MLE come across this thread he should be able to answer it as he is one of the bigger importers of these.

As for price it varies quite a bit, by buying 10 at a time the best prices seem to be around £2.50 per piece but i dont know how good they are, Trade prices are a little better but you have to buy alooot more.

#3 PyroPDC

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 08:54 PM

i would recommend mle to http://www.mlepyro.co.uk/firelantern/ (order online price as low as £1.75)

A friend gave me some to try the other day and i had the same problem (mind you we have had some very hot weather just lately, and just had to wait till the sun was right down and slightly cool.)

Edited by PyroPDC, 05 July 2009 - 08:56 PM.

www.pdcfireworks.co.uk - Award winning fireworks displays all over the UK


#4 David

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:23 AM

I fired one last night at 16 degrees C, that went up fine!
OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#5 phildunford

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:17 PM

To be honest, I worry more where they come down, and if they are still on fire...
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#6 David

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:21 PM

To be honest, I worry more where they come down, and if they are still on fire...


Yeah, that is always a concern- but if used after it's been raining (IE a typical English day) then the risk is very very small.

If timed correctly, they usually go very high indeed, and just drift off. Whilst they need to come down SOMEWHERE , of course, if launched in a rural area it's most likely they will just come down in the hills. I would be cautious about using one in London.

I'm yet to follow one from "flight to landing-" I'd love to try that! After a while they are so high that they can't be seen, sometimes.

After a lantern has burnt it's fuel, how long does it take to come back down to Earth?

Edited by David, 06 July 2009 - 01:30 PM.

OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#7 Mixologist

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:45 PM

If anyone was out Southport Champions of Champions last year there were some launced on the last night before Jubilees display.

They were launched across the river from the crowd, went almost straigh up, flight for about 8/10mins and then straight back down into the river about 10 metres from the crowd. The air was that still - lucky Jubilee!! (i wish the display i helped on the 2nd day had that weather)

But quite interesting to watch it go up and down.

I suspect different lanterns will have different flight times, they are indeed designed to burn out at the peak of thier flight and then come down.

#8 David

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 09:28 PM

I suspect different lanterns will have different flight times, they are indeed designed to burn out at the peak of thier flight and then come down.


There is also of course the ammount of time the lantern is held before allowed to float upwards. I'd recommended that people hold it for as long as they can, until it really feels "ready to go". To launch it too early can lead to problems!

Seems remarkable that they would come down nearby after going straight upwards- must really have been no breeze at all. I quite like the idea of them floating oddly off and disappearing for ever!
OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#9 David

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 12:27 AM

Well, I've fired 11 recently, 2 of which failed to go up. One just caught a stroke of the breeze, and burn a hole in the side, so I just dipped it in the water to put it out and called the launch off.

Other failure just didn't get up, simply danced along the ground for a while then caught fire, I retrived what was left of it.

But yeah, once they are up, then they stay up- thankfully! There always seems to be an unsure moment, about 20 second after launch, where they dance in the air and look as if they might be heading back down, then they just seem to get a move on, and float away.
OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#10 seymour

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:26 AM

(i wish the display i helped on the 2nd day had that weather)

Don't forget that you would be unable to see the fireworks due to smoke buildup!

You want some wind.
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#11 pyrotrev

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:11 PM

I find trying to launch sky lanterns in anything more than a very gentle breeze is a nightmare, particularly the inverted pear shaped type. Any wind gets them rocking and either they lose hot air out the bottom or burn a hole in the side.
Trying to do something very beautiful but very dangerous very safely....

#12 David

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:29 PM

I find trying to launch sky lanterns in anything more than a very gentle breeze is a nightmare, particularly the inverted pear shaped type. Any wind gets them rocking and either they lose hot air out the bottom or burn a hole in the side.


Yeah, sums it up really.

With three people, one holding the bottom and two (taller) people holding the sides, it tends to be OK, but yeah, any gust of wind is fatal - as soon as they take off, of course, they are exposed to the wind.
OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)

#13 David

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:43 PM

Apparantly they look like UFOs.

Seems an odd conclusion, seeing as (presumably) people could view them with binoculars. That said, if you didn't know what a "Sky Lantern" was, then it could be confusing.

Added- This (should) go without saying, of course, but these shouldn't be launched near houses or buildings, for obvious reasons!

Its like This wedding they look wonderful, but on about 4:30, that just screams "accident waiting to happen."

They have also been banned in Vietnam

Edited by David, 27 July 2009 - 12:24 AM.

OK, interest in fireworks to be resumed in the spring. It usually is. ;)




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