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A Homebuilt Balloon For A Homebuilt Airplane

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Balloon pilot Noah Forden, who is flying his homebuilt ultralight hot-air balloon this week at EAA AirVenture, brought the aircraft here inside another aircraft -- the Van's RV-7 that he built in his garage in Rhode Island. He's been building balloons for about 25 years, he told AVweb last week, and already had designed a small one-man balloon that could fit inside his car, without the need to tow a trailer or have a special vehicle. When he finished building the RV-7, he decided it would be nice to be able to fly off to distant hot-air balloon events with his own aircraft tucked inside the airplane, so he designed an ultralight system that fits.

Balloons are more visible than usual this year at Oshkosh, with several spotted tethered near the show center during the opening-night festivities, and they are expected to launch again on Friday night. Demonstrations by Forden and others are scheduled in the ultralight area for Thursday evening. The balloons should be visible from about 6:30 to 8 p.m., weather permitting.

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