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TOPIC: Balloon Filling Hut

Balloon Filling Hut 25 Dec 2011 16:46 #31

  • Karl H
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Yet another reason for you to make a return visit! Be sure and post your findings here (measurements, detail photos of the door, window, dimensions of the pit, so on and so on ) ; ) ....

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Balloon Filling Hut 16 May 2013 23:51 #32

  • Karl H
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I purchased some drawings from the RAF Museum, one of them being 3382/41 Balloon Filling Hut. Interestingly enough, the drawing shows it to have been of wooden construction; 2 x 2 frames with 3/4 in boarding. The pit is there as well. I have a theory about the pit: The emergency radio carried on American bombers had a balloon that was filled by a canister that through a chemical reaction when set in the water created hydrogen (or helium, don't recall which at the moment). I wonder if perhaps the weather balloons came as a kit with a balloon and a canister of the chemicals. Drop it in the pit and inflate away. Just a theory ; ) ...

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Balloon Filling Hut 27 May 2013 10:27 #33

  • John Hill
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At some of the airports I worked at in NZ and Pacific islands we had very small pilot balloons, about 2' in diameter. These were inflated with hydrogen until they had a certain positive buoyancy then released and timed until they disappeared into the lowest cloud layer giving a very good indication of the base.

The balloons we used for radio sondes were much bigger and those little huts would have not been much use with them. The big balloons were inflated in much bigger sheds which had a foot or so or open space between the top of the walls and the roof, the balloons were inflated indoors then walked out for launching.

At some places where bottled hydrogen was not available we had hydrogen generators that took sacks of caustic soda and buckets of aluminium swarf in a big stainless steel container arrangement. When water was added the whole thing bubbled and burped and the balloons inflated.

My guess is those little brick huts had a much smaller hydrogen generator system for inflating pilot balloons, maybe the pits had something to do with draining out the caustic black sludge that was the byproduct of hydrogen generation.

Cheers.

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Balloon Filling Hut 20 Apr 2016 22:52 #34

  • Smoggieboy
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Me in RAF MPA's balloon shed in 1991 !

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Last Edit: by Peter Kirk.

Balloon Filling Hut 14 May 2018 19:53 #35

  • Able Mabel
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Calling on the REF; Richard

I wonder if you could re-post the photographs of the BFH at Langham as somebody is hoping to build a 48th of Deenethorpe Watch office and the associated building and he is in need of the BFH to complete the series of buildings around the tower.

This building can be seen in the film '633 Squadron' well the rear of it but also in the film 'The War Lovers' as a B17 does a low past at the rear of the tower, hence in the background, the front of the BFH. Both were filmed at Bovingdon

Thanking you in anticipation
Ian

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Last Edit: by Able Mabel.
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