How It's Made (2001–…): Season 6, Episode 4 - Seatbelts/Windows/Wax Figurines/Hot Air Balloons - full transcript

Discover the secrets behind the construction of familiar items such as seatbelts, windows, wax figurines, and hot air balloons.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Narrator:
TODAY ON "HOW IT'S MADE,"

SEATBELTS...

...WINDOWS...

...WAX FIGURINES...

...AND HOT AIR BALLOONS.

IT'S AN INDISPUTABLE FACT
THAT SEATBELTS SAVE LIVES.

WHEN A CAR COMES
TO A SUDDEN STOP,

THE SEATBELT PREVENTS YOU
FROM HURLING FORWARD.

IT SPREADS THE STOPPING FORCE

ACROSS THE STURDIER PARTS
OF YOUR BODY,

NAMELY YOUR RIB CAGE AND PELVIS.

THIS SPREADING ACTION

DILUTES THE STRENGTH
OF THE STOPPING FORCE,

MINIMIZING INJURY.

BEFORE PRODUCTION CAN BEGIN,

THE FACTORY HAS TO ADJUST
THE SEATBELT DESIGN

TO FIT THE SPECIFIC CAR MODEL,

TO MAKE SURE THE BELT PATH
IS CLEAR,

THAT THERE'S ENOUGH ROOM
FOR ROTATING PARTS TO MOVE,

AND SO ON.

ON THE FACTORY FLOOR,

ROBOTS ASSEMBLE MOST
OF THE MECHANICAL COMPONENTS.

THIS PLASTIC DISK, CONTAINING
A SPRING AND A WEIGHT,

IS PART
OF THE LOCKING MECHANISM.

IT'S WHAT STOPS THE SEATBELT
STRAPS, CALLED THE WEBBING,

FROM LENGTHENING
WHEN YOU JERK FORWARD

DUE TO A SUDDEN STOP
OR HARD DECELERATION.

THE LOCKING MECHANISM

GOES INTO THE SEATBELT'S
RETRACTOR MECHANISM,

THE COMPONENT THAT LETS
THE WEBBING EXTEND AND RETRACT.

THE WEBBING WILL WIND
ONTO THIS ALUMINUM SPOOL

IN THE RETRACTOR,

A REWIND SPRING KEEPING IT TAUT.

SUDDEN DECELERATION
WILL CAUSE THIS SILVER BALL

TO TRIGGER
THE LOCKING MECHANISM.

THIS WILL STOP THE SPOOL FROM
ROTATING AND LOCK THE WEBBING.

THIS NEXT ROBOT ASSEMBLES

WHAT'S CALLED
THE PRETENSIONER MECHANISM.

WHILE THE LOCKING MECHANISM

STOPS THE WEBBING
FROM LENGTHENING,

THE PRETENSIONER SHARPLY PULLS
THE WEBBING BACK,

TIGHTENING ANY SLACK.

THE PRETENSIONER KICKS IN
ONLY IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH.

THE SUDDEN DECELERATION
ON IMPACT TRIGGERS SENSORS

WHICH SIGNAL
THE AIR-BAG CONTROL MODULE

TO SEND AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE
TO THE PRETENSIONER.

THIS CHARGE SETS OFF
A TINY EXPLOSION

THAT DESLACKS THE BELT.

THIS WORKER INSTALLS
THE EXPLOSIVE DEVICE,

CALLED THE MICRO GAS GENERATOR,
OR MGG.

AFTER LUBRICATING THE INSIDE
OF ITS ALUMINUM CYLINDER

WITH GREASE,

SHE INSERTS A PISTON
AND THE MGG.

THE MGG CONTAINS A CHEMICAL
CALLED NITROCELLULOSE.

THE ELECTRICAL CHARGE COMING
FROM THE AIR-BAG CONTROL MODULE

IGNITES THIS CHEMICAL,
CAUSING A TINY GAS EXPLOSION.

THAT GENERATES PRESSURE
WITHIN THE CYLINDER,

DRIVING THE PISTON UPWARD
AT HIGH SPEED.

THIS TRIGGERS A GEAR THAT WINDS
THE RETRACTOR SPOOL BACKWARD,

TAKING UP ANY SLACK
IN THE WEBBING.

AFTER CAPPING OFF THE MICRO GAS
GENERATOR'S HOUSING,

A ROBOT TRANSFERS THE COMPLETED
PRETENSIONER MECHANISM

TO THE RETRACTOR'S FRAME.

THEN IT SCREWS ON
A STEEL COVER PLATE

TO HOLD THE PRETENSIONER
IN PLACE.

THEY INSTALL THE REWIND SPRING

ONTO THE SPOOL
OF THE RETRACTOR MECHANISM.

THIS SPRING
IS WHAT PROVIDES RESISTANCE

WHEN YOU PULL OUT THE WEBBING
TO BUCKLE UP.

THEN, WHEN YOU UNBUCKLE,
IT ROTATES THE SPOOL

TO REWIND THE WEBBING.

THE CAR COMPANY DECIDES
WHAT TYPE OF SPRING TO USE.

THE THICKER THE SPRING
AND THE MORE COILS,

THE GREATER THE TENSION,

AND THEREFORE THE FASTER
AND SMOOTHER THE BELT RETRACTS.

BUT THE GREATER THE TENSION,

THE LESS COMFORTABLE
THE SEATBELT IS ON THE BODY.

THE WEBBING IS MADE
OF WOVEN POLYESTER FIBER.

THIS MACHINE SEWS ONE END
OVER INTO A LOOP

FOR THE PIN THAT'LL ANCHOR
THE WEBBING TO THE SPOOL.

THE PIN IS MADE
OF EITHER PLASTIC OR STEEL,

DEPENDING ON THE TYPE
OF RETRACTOR THEY'RE USING.

A WORKER NOW THREADS THE END
THROUGH A MACHINE

THAT AUTOMATICALLY
WINDS THE WEBBING

ONTO THE RETRACTOR SPOOL,

MAKING SURE THE PIN
IS PROPERLY ATTACHED.

AT THE SAME TIME, THE MACHINE
CHECKS THE OVERALL BELT LENGTH

TO MAKE SURE IT CONFORMS
TO THE CLIENT'S SPECIFICATIONS.

AT THIS FACTORY,
EVERY SINGLE SEATBELT COMPONENT

HAS TO PASS A THOROUGH
QUALITY-CONTROL CHECK.

HERE A MACHINE CHECKS
A KEY SAFETY FEATURE,

A LEVER-AND-RATCHET MECHANISM

THAT PREVENTS THE WEBBING
FROM EXTENDING

AFTER YOU'VE BELTED IN
A CHILD CAR SEAT.

NOW FOR THE FINAL ASSEMBLY.

WORKERS LOAD
ALL THE SEATBELT PARTS IN A JIG,

A HOLDING DEVICE
THAT ARRANGES THEM

IN THE PROPER CONFIGURATION.

A WORKER FEEDS THE WEBBING
THROUGH THE SHOULDER LOOP,

FROM WHICH THE BELT HANGS,
AND THROUGH THE TONGUE PLATE,

THE PART THAT CLICKS
INTO THE BUCKLE.

BOTH THESE COMPONENTS
ARE MADE OF STEEL FOR STRENGTH,

WITH PLASTIC COVERINGS
MATCHING THE CAR INTERIOR.

THE LAST STEP
IS TO SEW THE ANCHOR

TO FINISH OFF THE OTHER END
OF THE WEBBING.

EVERY SEATBELT DESIGN
GOES THROUGH EXTENSIVE TESTING

BEFORE GOING INTO PRODUCTION.

THIS MACHINE ASSESSES

HOW MUCH PULL THE WEBBING
AND RETRACTOR CAN WITHSTAND

BEFORE BREAKING.

THIS MACHINE TESTS
THE WEBBING'S DURABILITY,

RUNNING IT
THROUGH 50,000 ABRASION CYCLES

TO ENSURE THE MATERIAL
DOESN'T WEAR OUT.

Narrator:
THE EARLIEST WINDOWS

WERE MERELY HOLES
CUT INTO THE WALLS.

PEOPLE LIVING IN WARM CLIMATES
LEFT THEM UNCOVERED,

WHILE PEOPLE IN HARSHER CLIMATES
USED ANIMALS SKINS

TO KEEP THE COLD OUT.

IN THE FAR EAST, PEOPLE COVERED
THE OPENING WITH PAPER.

THEN CAME GLASS PANES

IN SASHES THAT SWUNG IN OR OUT
OR HUNG ONE ABOVE THE OTHER.

THIS TYPE OF WINDOW
IS CALLED A CASEMENT WINDOW.

A CRANK MECHANISM OPENS IT
AT AN ANGLE.

TO BUILD THE WINDOW FRAME,
THE FACTORY BEGINS

WITH 16 1/2-FOOT LENGTHS
OF EXTRUDED PVC,

A TYPE OF PLASTIC.

AS CLAMPS HOLD THE PVC STEADY,

A COMPUTER-GUIDED CIRCULAR SAW
CUTS THE SIZES REQUIRED

FOR THE FRAME.

THE SAME MACHINE ALSO CUTS
THE PIECES FOR THE SASH,

THE INNER FRAME
AROUND THE GLASS.

EACH FRAME IS MADE
FROM FOUR PIECES,

WHOSE ENDS ARE MITERED
AT A 45-DEGREE ANGLE.

NOW WORKERS LOAD EIGHT PIECES

ONTO A COMPUTER-GUIDED
WELDING MACHINE --

EIGHT, BECAUSE IT WELDS
TWO FRAMES AT A TIME.

FIRST A HEATING BLOCK,

WHOSE TEMPERATURE
IS 446 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

MELTS THE ENDS.

THEN THE MACHINE
PUSHES THEM TOGETHER.

THEY FUSE, FORMING THE FRAME'S
FOUR CORNERS.

HERE'S THE SAME PROCESS,
VIEWED FROM ABOVE.

AS THE MELTED ENDS BOND
UNDER PRESSURE,

EXCESS PVC OOZES OUT
AT THE JOINTS, THEN HARDENS.

THE NEXT MACHINE
WILL CLEAN THAT UP.

A ROBOT READS THE PROFILE
OF THE SPECIFIC FRAME STYLE.

THEN IT USES ONE
OF SEVERAL CUTTING HEADS

TO SHAVE THE EXCESS
OFF THE CORNERS.

FROM HERE, THE SASH AND FRAME
GO TO ANOTHER AREA

TO RECEIVE HINGES.

MEANWHILE,
WORKERS CUT THE GLASS TO SIZE.

THEY START WITH A HUGE SHEET,

MEASURING
ABOUT 6 1/2 FEET BY 10 FEET..

IT'S VERY HEAVY,
ABOUT 200 POUNDS.

SO, THEY LAY IT
ON A SPECIALLY DESIGNED TABLE.

A BLOWER SENDS UP AIR
THROUGH TINY HOLES.

THIS FLOATS THE GLASS
JUST ABOVE THE SURFACE,

MAKING IT EASY TO MOVE AROUND.

THEY SCORE THE GLASS USING
A SHARP CARBIDE CUTTING WHEEL.

THIS WINDOW WILL HAVE
WHAT'S CALLED A THERMOPANE,

TWO PANES OF GLASS
WITH ARGON GAS IN BETWEEN

FOR INSULATION.

ONE OF THE PANES HAS
A TRANSPARENT METALLIC COATING

TO REFLECT THE HEAT
BACK INTO THE HOUSE.

THEY ADHERE A STRIP
OF SILICONE FOAM

AROUND THE PERIMETER
OF THE FIRST PANE,

NOTCHING IT FOR A GOOD FIT
AROUND THE CORNERS.

THE FOAM IS COVERED IN A THIN,
STRONG POLYESTER FILM

TO PREVENT THE GAS
FROM LEAKING THROUGH.

THE STRIP IS A SPACER, CREATING
A GAP BETWEEN THE TWO PANES

THAT'S JUST OVER 1/2 INCH WIDE.

THAT'S WHERE THE GAS WILL GO.

THEY CUT A HOLE
AT THE TOP OF THE SPACER

AND ANOTHER AT THE BOTTOM.

YOU'LL SEE WHY SHORTLY.

THIS WINDOW FEATURES DECORATIVE
GRID WORK CALLED MUNTIN BARS.

THEY'RE MADE OF ALUMINUM
AND GO BETWEEN THE TWO PANES.

A WORKER LAYS THE BARS
ONTO THE FIRST PANE,

THEN USES THIS GUIDE TO LINE
THEM UP PERFECTLY STRAIGHT.

THEN SHE PUTS THE SECOND PANE
ON TOP.

IT STICKS TO THE EXPOSED
ADHESIVE EDGE OF THE SPACER.

NOW THE DOUBLE-PANED GLASS
GOES THROUGH A PRESS,

WHOSE ROLLERS APPLY PRESSURE

TO ENSURE A STRONG
AND THOROUGH BOND TO THE SPACER.

AFTER THE GLASS EXITS THE PRESS,
WORKERS PUMP IN ARGON GAS

THROUGH THAT HOLE
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SPACER.

THE SPEED OF THE GAS FLOW
IS CRITICAL.

IF THEY PUMP IT IN TOO FAST,

IT'LL MIX WITH THE AIR
IN BETWEEN THE PANES,

RATHER THAN PUSH IT THROUGH THE
HOLE AT THE TOP OF THE SPACER.

AFTER PLUGGING THE HOLES,

THEY COAT THE SPACER
IN A POLYURETHANE SEALANT.

THIS MAKES THE THERMOPANE
COMPLETELY AIRTIGHT.

NOW IT'S READY TO GO
IN THE SASH.

A PIECE OF PVC CALLED THE
GLAZING STOP HOLDS IT THERE.

THEY SNAP IT IN PLACE
USING A ROLLER.

A LITTLE PVC CEMENT

TO SEAL OFF ANY MINISCULE GAPS
IN THE CORNERS,

THEN THE SASH GOES
INTO THE WINDOW FRAME.

THEIR RESPECTIVE HINGE PARTS
SIMPLY SNAP TOGETHER.

THE LAST STEP IS TO SNAP THE
FRAME'S CRANK ARM ONTO THE SASH.

Narrator: MAKING RELIGIOUS
FIGURINES OUT OF WAX

IS A TRADITION THE FRENCH
BROUGHT TO THE NEW WORLD.

FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS,

THIS DELICATE CRAFT
WASN'T OPEN TO JUST ANYONE.

THE TECHNIQUE REMAINED
A CLOSELY GUARDED SECRET,

PRACTICED ONLY BY MONKS AND NUNS

WITHIN THE CONFINES OF
THEIR MONASTERIES AND CONVENTS.

THIS ARTISAN USES
A CENTURIES-OLD TECHNIQUE

TO RESTORE ANTIQUE FIGURINES
AND TO MAKE NEW ONES.

SHE BEGINS WITH PURE BEESWAX,
PARAFFIN WAX,

SOME POWDERED CHALK TO MAKE
THE WAXES LESS TRANSPARENT,

AND A BIT OF SOLID ANIMAL FAT
TO MAKE THE WAX LESS FRAGILE

ONCE IT HARDENS.

SHE HEATS THE CAN OF INGREDIENTS
IN A POT OF WATER

FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS,

UNTIL EVERYTHING'S MELTED
AND HOMOGENOUS.

THEN SHE TINTS THE MIXTURE
USING OIL-PAINT PIGMENTS.

THERE'S NO EXACT RECIPE.

SHE GOES BY GUT FEELING,
FIDDLING WITH VARIOUS COLORS

UNTIL SHE CREATES THE EXACT
SKIN TONE SHE'S LOOKING FOR.

ONCE SHE'S CERTAIN THE COLOR
IS UNIFORM THROUGHOUT,

SHE POURS THE MIXTURE
THROUGH A STOCKING.

THIS FILTERS OUT
ANY CONTAMINANTS

OR UNDISSOLVED PARTICLES.

NOW SHE POURS THE MIXTURE
INTO A PLASTER MOLD.

THERE'S A DIFFERENT MOLD
FOR EACH FIGURINE MODEL.

THIS ONE'S A BABY JESUS.

THE WAX TAKES ABOUT 10 MINUTES
TO SOLIDIFY.

THE FIGURINE COMES OUT EASILY,

BECAUSE SHE HAD GREASED
THE MOLD CAVITY BEFOREHAND

WITH FILTERED SHEEP FAT.

THE FIGURINE AT THIS POINT

IS FIRM ENOUGH
TO EXTRACT FROM THE MOLD

BUT STILL SOFT ENOUGH TO SCULPT.

WITH A VERY FINE BLADE
THAT SHE HEATS OVER A FLAME,

THE ARTISAN NOW SCRAPES AWAY
THE SEAM LEFT BY EXCESS WAX

THAT OOZED OUT OF THE GAP
BETWEEN THE MOLD'S TWO HALVES.

THEN SHE RUNS THE FIGURINE
THROUGH THE FLAME

JUST LONG ENOUGH TO MELT OFF
ANY WAX PARTICLES

LEFT BEHIND BY THE SCRAPING.

AFTER SMOOTHING THE SURFACE
WITH A SOLVENT,

SHE SIGNS THE BACK OF THE
FIGURINE WITH HER INITIALS,

THEN USES THE FLAME ONCE AGAIN
TO MELT OFF THE SCRAPED-OUT WAX.

NOW THAT THE FIGURINE'S BODY
IS FINISHED,

SHE CAN BEGIN THE DETAIL WORK.

SHE MELTS PINE RESIN
WITH BEESWAX TO MAKE GLUE,

THEN BRUSHES IT
ON THE FIGURINE'S HEAD.

THEN SHE TAKES STRANDS
OF HUMAN HAIR --

CLIENTS OFTEN SUPPLY
THEIR CHILDREN'S HAIR --

AND SOAKS THEM IN WATER.

SHE WETS STRIPS OF FABRIC,
AS WELL.

THEN SHE ROLLS THE HAIR
AROUND A KNITTING NEEDLE

TO MAKE CURLY LOCKS.

SHE WINDS THE FABRIC
OVER THE CURLS

TO HOLD THEM IN PLACE
UNTIL THEY AIR-DRY.

IF SHE'S PRESSED FOR TIME,

SHE'LL DRY THEM IN THE OVEN
ON LOW HEAT.

TO MAKE BIGGER CURLS
FOR A LARGER FIGURINE,

SHE SIMPLY USES
A THICKER KNITTING NEEDLE.

NOW, USING A HOT BLADE
TO REHEAT AND ACTIVATE THE GLUE,

SHE APPLIES EACH LENGTH OF CURLS
INDIVIDUALLY.

ONCE SHE'S FINISHED
COVERING THE HEAD,

SHE ATTACHES A LITTLE HALO
MADE OF BRASS WIRE,

HEATING THE END SO THAT THE WAX
MELTS ON CONTACT

AND HOLDS IT IN POSITION.

NOW, USING A SMALL, POINTED TOOL

THAT SHE REPEATEDLY HEATS
ON THE FLAME,

SHE SCULPTS
THE FINE FACIAL DETAILS --

THE FIGURINE'S EYES,
EYELIDS, NOSTRILS, AND LIPS.

AGAIN, A LITTLE SOLVENT
CLEANS OFF THE WAX PARTICLES.

NOW SHE BRUSHES THE FIGURINE
HEAD TO TOE

WITH POWDER MADE OF PUMICE
AND PIGMENT.

THIS WILL HELP THE WATERCOLOR
PAINTS ADHERE TO THE WAX.

SHE PAINTS THE EYES, LASHES,
BROWS, AND LIPS.

ONCE THE PAINT DRIES,

SHE APPLIES A TOUCH OF VARNISH
TO THE EYES

TO MAKE THEM SHINY AND BRIGHT.

ONCE THE VARNISH DRIES,

SHE DRESSES THE FIGURINE
AND POSITIONS IT IN ITS SETTING.

Narrator:
THE FIRST PASSENGERS EVER
TO RIDE IN A HOT AIR BALLOON

WERE A SHEEP,
A DUCK, AND A CHICKEN.

THAT EIGHT-MINUTE FLIGHT
TOOK PLACE IN FRANCE IN 1783.

TODAY'S HOT AIR BALLOONS
WORK ON THE SAME PRINCIPLE --

THE BURNER HEATS THE AIR,

THE BALLOON ENVELOPE
HOLDS THE AIR,

AND THE BASKET
CARRIES THE PASSENGERS.

HOT AIR BALLOONS FALL UNDER
GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT REGULATIONS,

SO THEIR ENGINEERING HAS TO MEET

VERY SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE
AND SAFETY STANDARDS.

ONCE THE TECHNICAL DESIGN
GETS APPROVAL,

THE FACTORY WORKS
ON THE GRAPHIC DESIGN.

THE COMPUTER RENDERS
THE GRAPHICS INTO PLANS

THAT RESEMBLE
A GIANT JIGSAW PUZZLE.

EACH PIECE HAS A CODE NUMBER.

THE COMPUTER GENERATES
A PAPER TEMPLATE FOR EACH ONE.

BALLOONS USUALLY FLY
IN THE EARLY MORNING,

WHEN THERE'S STILL DEW
ON THE GROUND.

SO, THE NYLON FABRIC WITH WHICH
THEY MAKE THE BALLOON ENVELOPE

HAS A SILICONE COATING

TO REPEL MOISTURE THAT WOULD
GENERATE MOLD AND MILDEW.

AFTER TRACING EACH TEMPLATE
WITH GREASE PENCILS,

THEY CUT THE FABRIC BY HAND

AND MARK THE CORRESPONDING
CODE NUMBER

ON THE BACK OF EACH PIECE.

THEN, FOLLOWING THE PLAN,

SEAMSTRESSES SEW THE PIECES
TOGETHER LIKE A GIANT QUILT,

USING HEAVY-DUTY THREAD.

THE TYPE OF SEAM THEY STITCH
IS THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE --

WHAT YOU TYPICALLY SEE ON JEANS.

THEY SEW THE SEAMS TO NYLON
STRAPS, CALLED WEBBING.

THESE RUN BOTH HORIZONTALLY
AND VERTICALLY,

FORMING A GIANT GRID.

SHOULD THE FABRIC RIP,

THE SEAM AND WEBBING COMBINED
PREVENT THE TEAR FROM SPREADING.

HOT AIR BALLOONS OFTEN CARRY
A CORPORATE LOGO.

WORKERS DIVIDE THE DESIGN
INTO COMPONENTS,

PROJECT EACH ONE
ONTO A PIECE OF FABRIC,

TRACE IT, AND CUT IT OUT.

THEY FIRST GLUE,

THEN SEW THE COMPONENTS TO
THE BALLOON IN ONE OF TWO WAYS

EITHER INTO THE FABRIC,
OR ON TOP OF IT, AS WE SEE HERE.

STAINLESS-STEEL AIRCRAFT CABLE

CONNECTS THE BALLOON ENVELOPE
TO THE BASKET BELOW.

WORKERS SLIP A PLASTIC SLEEVE,
THEN A COPPER SLEEVE

OVER ONE END,
THEN LOOP THE CABLE.

THEY LINE THE LOOP
WITH A STAINLESS-STEEL THIMBLE.

THIS THIMBLE WILL PROTECT
THE AIRCRAFT CABLE

FROM DAMAGE
DUE TO WEAR AND TEAR.

THEY CRIMP THE COPPER SLEEVE
TO LOCK THE LOOP.

AFTER TAKING
VARIOUS MEASUREMENTS

TO ENSURE EVERYTHING CONFORMS
TO STRICT SPECIFICATIONS,

THEY WRAP TAPE AROUND THE SHARP
END OF THE CRIMP,

THEN, USING
AN INDUSTRIAL HEAT GUN,

SHRINK-WRAP THE PLASTIC SLEEVE
OVER IT TO SEAL THE CONNECTION.

THE BASKET IS MADE OF WICKER
OR A SIMILAR NATURAL MATERIAL

WOVEN
OVER A STAINLESS-STEEL FRAME.

WICKER IS FLEXIBLE ENOUGH

TO ABSORB THE SHOCK
OF A BUMPY LANDING.

THEY COVER THE BOTTOM EDGE
WITH RAWHIDE

TO PROTECT THE WICKER WHEN
IT SCRAPES AGAINST THE GROUND.

THEY PAD, THEN COVER THE TOP
EDGE IN SUEDE OR LEATHER

FOR COMFORT WHEN YOU'RE LEANING
ON IT TO ADMIRE THE VIEW.

THESE NYLON POLES, CALLED
UPRIGHTS, FIT INTO THE FRAME.

THEY SUPPORT THE BURNERS
ABOVE THE BASKET.

HOT AIR BALLOONS RUN
ON PROPANE,

THE SAME STUFF
GAS BARBECUES USE.

ONLY A BARBECUE PRODUCES
ABOUT 70,000 BTUs OF HEAT,

WHILE A HOT AIR BALLOON'S
TWO BURNERS TOGETHER

GENERATE 30 MILLION BTUs,
ENOUGH TO WARM A LARGE BUILDING.

AFTER CONNECTING THE BASKET
TO THE BURNER FRAME WITH CABLES,

THEY COVER THE CABLES AND
UPRIGHTS IN PROTECTIVE PADDING.

THEN THEY HOOK UP THE HOSES
RUNNING FROM THE BURNERS

TO THE PROPANE TANKS
HOUSED IN THE BASKET.

NOW FOR THE FINAL ASSEMBLY.

FIRST, THEY TIP THE BASKET
ONTO ITS SIDE.

THEN THEY TAKE THOSE LOOPED
CABLES THEY MADE EARLIER

AND HOOK ONE END TO THE FRAME
OF THE BURNER SYSTEM.

THE OTHER END IS ALREADY HOOKED
UP TO THE BALLOON ENVELOPE --

ONE CABLE TO EVERY VERTICAL
STRIP OF WEBBING.

DEPENDING ON ITS SIZE, A BALLOON
HAS BETWEEN 12 AND 28 OF THEM.

THEY FORM THE SKELETON
OF THE BALLOON,

CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF THE CRAFT
AND ITS PASSENGERS.

AFTER LAYING OUT
THE BALLOON ENVELOPE,

THEY USE A FAN TO INFLATE IT
PARTWAY WITH COLD AIR.

THIS TAKES 5 TO 20 MINUTES,

DEPENDING ON THE SIZE
OF THE BALLOON.

THEN THEY FIRE UP THE BURNERS
TO HEAT THE COLD AIR.

IT EXPANDS TO FILL THE ENVELOPE.

THE FABRIC NEAR THE BURNERS
IS FIRE-RESISTANT.

BECAUSE HOT AIR WEIGHS LESS
THAN COLD AIR, IT RISES,

PULLING THE BALLOON UPRIGHT
AND OFF THE GROUND.

YOU CONTROL VERTICAL MOVEMENT

BY MANIPULATING THE ENVELOPE
AIR TEMPERATURE.

TO ASCEND, YOU TURN
THE BURNER FLAMES HIGHER.

TO DESCEND, YOU PULL A CORD
TO VENT HOT AIR OUT THE TOP.

YOU CAN'T REALLY STEER
HORIZONTALLY.

THE TRICK IS TO RIDE
DIFFERENT WIND CURRENTS.

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ABOUT THE SHOW,

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