Complete 140 Passenger Balloon, Trailer with Custom E-Z Load Sled, and Chevrolet Tahoe Chase Vehicle. This is a great combination of components for operating a moderately large, passenger balloon program smooth, quick and easy.
BALLOON: Aerostar S66A, 140,000 cubic ft. Custom 9 envelope with Nomex scoop, new August, 2007. Velcro top (easier to open for a 140 than a parachute). 468.5 total hours, always flown cool and Never over-heated; even the 225 degree tell-tale hasn't been tripped! A few burn repairs near mouth and a few panels replaced near top opening. Classic Limited Stretch basket with four-point suspension, HP2D dual burners with piezo igniters, two-twenty gallon stainless tanks with covered, automatic heat tapes, Ball variometer, altimeter and wire temp gauge, new fuel lines 2012, drop line with leather bag. Passed annual April 2014 for 50 hours. My opinion, lots of cool flying hours left. Good condition.
FAN: Wheeled stand, 30" diameter three-bladed fan and two year old, Koehler Command Pro 9.5 hp, 277cc engine. From the start of the fan, the balloon is routinely inflated, passengers boarded and ready to launch in 13-15 minutes. Complete Balloon and Fan: $6,500.
TRAILER: 2008 Holmes 6-4x10R3.5, 2990 GVR, 1-1/8" ball, with spare tire. CUSTOM DESIGNED, E-Z LOAD SLED: Built to match the trailer and balloon in 2008, this one-of-a-kind system looked factory built new, but it was conceived and developed to allow the components of a large balloon to be completely assembled, eliminating the constant assembly and disassembly every flight. It was also designed to arrange the assembled balloon in a position for fast deployment. Here's how it works: Mounted on the trailer bed front to back are two, wheeled track rails which support a front-bowed sled with two slots on the sled bottom matching the wheeled rails. The envelope is positioned behind the front bow with the basket behind, tilted over on it's side with the front uprights on the envelope. A battery-powered winch on the trailer front pulls the pulley-attached sled up onto a short, wheeled track assembly in the back, which pivots down to align with the bed rails so the sled can be winched forward to stops in front.
The procedure for flight starts by aligning the chase vehicle and trailer downwind. The sled is push-rolled off the trailer onto the ground, the envelope tie rope is loosened, to free the cables and balloon mouth, and the basket is stood upright. A bracket (supporting the basket bottom when on the sled), is removed and stowed. Then the chase vehicle is driven slowly forward as the basket is tipped over to the front side by the crew. Basket cables and connections are checked before the chase vehicle continues forward, spilling the envelope on the ground. While the crew preps the envelope for inflation, the sled is winched back on the trailer and moved aside. This procedure usually takes less than five minutes.
At the end of a flight, the balloon is deflated and the sled is positioned on the ground behind the basket. The envelope is partially bagged and moved behind the bow, the basket is placed upright on the sled and bagging is completed. The envelope bag rope is snugged up and tied, then the basket is slid back and tipped forward so the uprights rest on the envelope. A tie-off secures the burner frame to the sled bow and the sled is winched onto the trailer. That's it. If appropriate, do the traditional champagne party for landowners, crew and passengers. Otherwise, return to the launch site, to celebrate there. When it's time, refueling is done through the burner hoses without unloading. Between flights, the winch battery is trickle charged and the electric tank covers plugged in. For six years this system has made flying a big balloon easy! Complete Trailer and Sled Price: $4,500.
CHASE VEHICLE: 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe LT, extended. 5.3 liter V8, automatic transmission, 2, 4 and all-wheel drive with Stabilitrak, power steering, tilt wheel, front and rear air conditioning, driver and front passenger dual airbags, dual power, heated and memory front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror with On-Star, compass and temperature display, outside power, foldaway and curb-view assist mirrors. Dark blue with beige leather interior and third row seat for 8 passenger capacity, factory dvd player with two wireless headsets and remote, power sliding sunroof with sunshade, AM, FM radio with 6 disc CD, roof rack, keyless entry. 122,000 miles, excellent tires, well maintained and in good condition. This vehicle's size and options are a perfect match for this balloon.
Chase Vehicle Price: $7,000, ($2,600 under Book).
Buy it all; Balloon, Fan, Trailer with E-Z load Sled and Chase Vehicle for $15,500.
American Balloon LLC