Who doesn’t wish they could just fly away once in a while—especially at the sight of hot air balloons gracing the horizon? But expense, equipment and accessibility can make hot air ballooning prohibitive for the average person. FlyDOO, a start-up company based in southeast France, is aiming to change all of that. Founder Leandro Corradini, an Italian aviation entrepreneur, wants to make hot air ballooning available to leisure aviation enthusiasts. His FlyDOO, a light sport balloon, is built for versatility and ease of use. It’s lightweight and made to take on the go.
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. The balloon starts with an envelope called the WeDOO1600, made of Skytex™, a ripstop material with a polyurethane coating from PorcherSPORT. Water-repellent and UV stable, it’s made to lift two people. The envelope weighs 75 pounds filled with hot air, and when not in use, can be folded and stored in a backpack.
The balloon comes together when it attaches to an ECO XL basket with a folding titanium frame, nylon skin, and four walls and a floor made of lightweight honeycomb sandwich composite material. Weighing in at 99 pounds, the basket can be assembled on site in up to 10 minutes.
FlyDOO features a 25-pound vectored thrust unit that makes the balloon particularly easy to maneuver. The battery-powered propeller, mounted on the side of the basket, works like a rudder to pivot the
balloon as needed. For more details, visit www.flydoo.fun.