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Wes Dickerson's Hot Air Balloon
Wes Dickerson has been a competition hot air balloonist for decades. The pictures below are of his racing balloon (that seems to be such a contradiction it's hard to write) and, even more fascinating, a perfect scale model replica of his balloon Wes built just for the engineering challenge. Wes was ranked 37th in the world in racing circles for many years - in anyone's book that is "world class". His model is complete right down to the 362 individual panels in the bag and the hand-crafted replica of the burner assembly and wicker basket which took, literally, weeks of effort to create. For perspective, we tried to put the full scale balloon on the left and the model on the right but on some computer screens they may present vertically with the real thing first and the model second. The last shot is a closer view of the basket and burner setup on the model.
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