Building the Ground Burner/Boiler Unit "Philip Hopes"
As apparently only first disclosed in print by Andre Giraud in 1991, the initial ground filling of a Steam Balloon or Steam Airship which carries a flight boiler to re-vaporize the steam lift gas, cannot in practice be performed by the flight boiler. (Giraud's patent can be referred to here, both in French and English). The quantity of steam required for filling the envelope from empty, and the amount of heat necessary to produce this steam, are just too great to be developed by any realistic boiler which is light enough to be carried aloft. In other words, a dedicated ground boiler/burner unit is required for ground filling. This situation may be considered analogous to the one which confronted all the early balloon and airship experimenters. To draw a rather presumptuous parallel, before Santos-Dumont could embark upon his epic program of airship development, the essential preliminary step was to manufacture a hydrogen production plant... which cannot have been a cheap project. In the same way, the Flying Kettle Project needs a large ground unit for producing the steam lift gas at a rapid rate. Such a unit must naturally consist of a boiler, mounted upon a burner box, mounted upon a trailer. Our progress so far has been very good.
Building the boiler
Building the firebox
Putting them together
Next you can read here about the first time we built the fire....
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