Ed Yost

Last updated

Ed Yost
Ed yost balloonist.png
Born
Paul Edward Yost

(1919-06-30)June 30, 1919
DiedMay 27, 2007(2007-05-27) (aged 87)
NationalityFlag of the United States.svg  United States of America
OccupationInventor
Employer Raven Industries
General Mills
Known forballooning
Notable work
inventor of the modern hot air balloon
Parent(s)Charles L. Yost
Fleta Ferne Burman Yost (1895-1951)

Paul Edward Yost (June 30, 1919 May 27, 2007) was the American inventor of the modern hot air balloon and is referred to as the "Father of the Modern Day Hot-Air Balloon." [1] He worked for a high-altitude research division of General Mills in the early 1950s when he left to establish Raven Industries in 1956, along with several colleagues from General Mills. [2]

Contents

Raven Industries hot air sport balloons was founded in 1956 of Sioux Falls, SD YostGondola3.jpg
Raven Industries hot air sport balloons was founded in 1956 of Sioux Falls, SD

Inventor

Born on a farm 7 miles south of Bristow, Iowa to Charles L. Yost and Fleta Ferne Burman Yost, he first became involved in lighter-than-air ballooning when he leased his single-engine plane to General Mills to track their gas balloons. He became a senior engineer in the development of high-altitude research balloons.

In the 1950s, Yost's own interests turned toward reviving the lost practice of manned hot-air ballooning. This technology had first been invented in France by in the late 18th century by pioneers led by the Montgolfier brothers, but under the Montgolfier system, the balloon's air was heated by a ground fire prior to the balloon being released. The inherent danger of this type of balloon flight led to the system being abandoned when hydrogen and later helium became available.

One of Yost's key engineering insights was that a hot-air balloon could be made to carry its own fuel. The invention of relatively light burners fueled by bottled propane made it possible for the balloonist to re-heat the air inside the balloon for a longer flight. Yost’s invention improved modern hot-air balloons into semi-maneuverable aircraft. Yost's other hot-air balloon patents[ clarification needed ] included nonporous synthetic fabrics, maneuvering vents, and deflation systems for landing. Yost also designed the distinctive “teardrop” shape of the hot air balloon envelope itself. [3]

Aviator

In October 1955, Yost developed and flew the first prototype of the modern hot-air balloon in a tethered flight. [3] The envelope was plastic film, and heat was provided by burning kerosene. This prototype flight uncovered conceptual flaws that Yost worked to overcome.

Raven Industries pioneered hot air balloons manufacturing. Founded in 1956 by Paul Edward Yost, J. R. Smith, Joseph Kaliszewski, and Dwayne Thon, while working in the General Mills scientific balloon program. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD; Raven was contracted by the US Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) to create a reusable, lightweight balloon that would carry a pilot to 10,000 feet and fly for three hours. Yost made the first tethered flight in October 1955. The envelope was plastic film used in gas balloons and heat from plumber’s pots burning kerosene. Yost remained aloft for 25 minutes and traveled three miles from the takeoff point. His first free flight in a hot air balloon, from Bruning, Nebraska on October 20, 1960, was with a nylon envelope and burners fueled by propane. Yost made a second flight from the famed Stratobowl, near Rapid City, South Dakota, in November 1960, with an improved balloon. Raven Industries sold their first civilian hot air balloon in November 1961, launching a new sport in the process. The Raven Vulcoon balloon, model S50A, with a basket constructed of aluminum tubing and fiberglass panels was the first hot air balloon to receive an airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Registration number N1960R was manufactured in May 1972 and first flown on June 11 of that year. It's balloon envelope had a capacity of 56,500 cubic feet, an empty weight of 325 pounds, and a maximum gross lifting capacity of 1400 pounds. For its entire career, the balloon was owned and operated by the Tewksbury Balloon Club, Fairmont, New Jersey. [4]

On 22 October 1960, Yost made the first-ever free flight of a modern hot-air balloon from Bruning, Nebraska. [3] [2] His balloon flew untethered for 1 hour and 35 minutes (1:35) with the aid of heat generated by a propane burner. The balloon's 40 ft (12 m)-diameter envelope was sewn from heat-resistant fabric especially selected by Yost for the purpose. [5] After further refining and improving on this designs and materials, on 13 April 1963 Yost piloted the first modern hot air balloon across the English Channel with fellow balloonist Don Piccard in a balloon later named the “Channel Champ.” [3] [6] They lifted off from Rye, England crossed the channel and landed at Gravelines, France. [7] In 1976, Yost set 13 aviation world’s records for distance traveled and amount of time aloft in his attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean —solo— by balloon. He designed and built his balloon, the “Silver Fox," himself, partly in his home garage. It featured a gondola that was shaped like a boat in the event that he would be forced down at sea — which is precisely what occurred. Although he had traveled far in excess of the distance needed to reach Europe from his launch point off the coast of Maine, his flight path began to point South rather than the hoped-for East direction due to inaccurate weather forecasting. The dream was achieved two years later with Yost’s assistance in a Yost-built balloon, Double Eagle II. [3]

Yost also contributed to the advancement of the sport of ballooning and lighter-than-air flight. He helped to found the Balloon Federation of America (BFA) and assisted in the organization of the first U.S. National Ballooning Championship in Indianola, Iowa. [3]

Yost founded the Balloon Historical Society (BHS) in 2002, which dedicated four monuments on the rim of the Stratobowl on 28 July 2004, to memorialize the Stratobowl projects in the 1930s as well as the second flight of a modern hot-air balloon. [8]

On 27 May 2007, Yost died of a heart attack at the age of 87 at his home in Vadito, near Taos, New Mexico. [9] He was buried in the Allison cemetery in Allison, Iowa.

Related Research Articles

Hot air balloon Lighter than air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air

A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath is a gondola or wicker basket, which carries passengers and a source of heat, in most cases an open flame caused by burning liquid propane. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope. As with all aircraft, hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere. The envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom, since the air inside the envelope there is at about the same pressure as the surrounding air. In modern sport balloons the envelope is generally made from nylon fabric and the inlet of the balloon is made from a fire resistant material such as Nomex. Modern balloons have been made in all kinds of shapes, such as rocket ships and the shapes of various commercial products, though the traditional shape is used for most non-commercial, and many commercial, applications.

Montgolfier brothers French brothers inventor duo, inventors of a hot air balloon or globe aérostatique, 1783, Joseph and Etienne

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier were paper manufacturers from Annonay, in Ardèche, France best known as inventors of the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon, globe aérostatique. They launched the first piloted ascent, carrying Jacques-Étienne. Joseph-Michel also invented the self-acting hydraulic ram (1796), Jacques-Étienne founded the first paper-making vocational school and the brothers invented a process to manufacture transparent paper.

Jacques Charles French inventor, scientist, mathematician, and balloonist

Jacques Alexandre César Charles was a French inventor, scientist, mathematician, and balloonist. Charles wrote almost nothing about mathematics, and most of what has been credited to him was due to mistaking him with another Jacques Charles, also a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, entering on May 12, 1785. He was sometimes called Charles the Geometer. Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world's first unmanned hydrogen-filled gas balloon in August 1783; then in December 1783, Charles and his co-pilot Nicolas-Louis Robert ascended to a height of about 1,800 feet in a manned gas balloon. Their pioneering use of hydrogen for lift led to this type of balloon being named a Charlière.

Balloon (aeronautics) type of aerostat that remains aloft due to its buoyancy

In aeronautics, a balloon is an unpowered aerostat, which remains aloft or floats due to its buoyancy. A balloon may be free, moving with the wind, or tethered to a fixed point. It is distinct from an airship, which is a powered aerostat that can propel itself through the air in a controlled manner.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta hot air balloon festival

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a yearly hot air balloon festival that takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event occurring in the first full week of October, and has over 500 hot air balloons each year far from it humble beginnings of merely 13 balloons in 1972. The event is the largest balloon festival in the world, followed by the Grand Est Mondial Air in France.

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier French pioneer balloonist

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier was a French chemistry and physics teacher, and one of the first pioneers of aviation. He and François Laurent d'Arlandes made the first manned free balloon flight on 21 November 1783, in a Montgolfier balloon. He later died when his balloon crashed near Wimereux in the Pas-de-Calais during an attempt to fly across the English Channel. He and his companion, Pierre Romain, thus became the first known fatalities in an air crash. He also risked himself while researching the flammability of hydrogen: in "A Short History of Nearly Everything", Bill Bryson writes "In France, a chemist named Pilatre de Rozier tested the flammability of hydrogen by gulping a mouthful and blowing across an open flame, proving at a stroke that hydrogen is indeed explosively combustible and that eyebrows are not necessarily a permanent feature of one’s face."

François Laurent dArlandes French marquis

François Laurent le Vieux d'Arlandes was a French marquis, soldier and a pioneer of hot air ballooning. He and Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier made the first manned free balloon flight on 21 November 1783, in a Montgolfier balloon.

Hopper balloon

A hopper balloon is a small, one-person hot air balloon. Unlike a conventional hot air balloon where people ride inside a basket, there is no basket on a hopper balloon. Instead, the hopper pilot usually sits on a seat or wears a harness similar to a parachute harness. Hoppers are typically flown for recreation. These aircraft are sometimes called "Cloud Hoppers" or "Cloudhoppers." However, these terms formally refer to the products of a particular manufacturer, specifically Lindstrand Balloons. Nonetheless, "Cloudhopper" is used by many people as a genericized trademark, which refers to all craft of this general type. Most hopper balloons have envelopes that range in volume from 14,000 to 35,000 cubic feet and have a maximum flight duration of 1 to 1.5 hours. The two principal commercial balloon manufacturers today offering hopper balloons for sale are Cameron Balloons and Lindstrand Balloons. Most other hopper balloons are experimental aircraft designed and built by amateur constructors.

Don Piccard (balloonist) American balloonist inventor

Donald Louis Piccard is a Swiss-born American balloonist.

Hot air ballooning activity of flying hot air balloons

Hot air ballooning is the activity of flying hot air balloons. Attractive aspects of ballooning include the exceptional quiet, the lack of a feeling of movement, and the bird's-eye view. Since the balloon moves with the direction of the winds, the passengers feel absolutely no wind, except for brief periods during the flight when the balloon climbs or descends into air currents of different direction or speed. Hot air ballooning has been recognized by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) as the safest air sport in aviation, and fatalities in hot air balloon accidents are rare, according to statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Julian Nott (balloonist) American balloonist

Julian Nott was a British balloonist who later lived in Santa Barbara, California. He was known for his record-setting achievements. Nott set 79 world ballooning records and 96 British aviation records. He developed balloons for flights to Solar System destinations, particularly Titan. He flew a working prototype Titan balloon at minus 175 Celsius, approximately the temperature of Titan's atmosphere.

History of ballooning

The history of ballooning, both with hot air and gas, spans many centuries. It includes many firsts, including the first human flight, first flight across the English Channel, first flight in North America, and first aircraft related disaster.

Maxie Anderson American balloonist

Maxie Anderson was an American hot air balloonist and Congressional Gold Medal recipient He was part of the balloon crews that made the first Atlantic ocean crossing by balloon in the Double Eagle II and the first Pacific ocean crossing by balloon in the Double Eagle V.

Robert brothers French scientists

Les Frères Robert were two French brothers. Anne-Jean Robert (1758–1820) and Nicolas-Louis Robert (1760–1820) were the engineers who built the world's first hydrogen balloon for professor Jacques Charles, which flew from central Paris on 27 August 1783. They went on to build the world's first manned hydrogen balloon, and on 1 December 1783 Nicolas-Louis accompanied Jacques Charles on a 2-hour, 5-minute flight. Their barometer and thermometer made it the first balloon flight to provide meteorological measurements of the atmosphere above the Earth's surface.

Firefly Balloons American hot air balloon manufacturer

FireFly Balloons is an American hot air balloon manufacturer that started as The Balloon Works (TBW) in 1972 in Statesville, NC. The company is one of the oldest hot air balloon manufacturers in the United States, behind Raven Industries, SEMCO and Piccard Balloons. The origins of the company's designs can be traced to the work of Tracy Barnes in the late 1960s.

Raven Industries, Inc. is a U.S manufacturer of precision agriculture products, high-altitude balloons, plastic film and sheeting, and radar systems. The company is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The Cameron D-96 was the first hot air airship, a powered, steerable lighter-than-air craft carrying two or three crew marrying the elongated envelope of an airship with the externally localized heat source of a modern hot air balloon. It was designed and built in the UK and first flown in 1973.

David Levin (balloonist) US balloon pilot, "triple crown" winner

David N. Levin was an American balloonist. He is the only balloonist to have completed the "triple crown" by winning the World Gas Balloon Championship, the World Hot Air Ballooning Championships and the Gordon Bennett Cup. In 1992, Levin also became the first balloonist to win ballooning's four major events, having won the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship along with the "triple crown".

Eleanor Vadala American chemist, materials engineer and balloonist

Eleanor Vadala is an American chemist, materials engineer and balloonist. She became director of research and development at the Naval Air Development Center in Pennsylvania, where she helped to develop light synthetic materials for use in aircraft. One of her jobs was the testing of fabric in existing balloons to ensure they could be used safely.

Balloon Federation of America Balloon Federation of America

The Balloon Federation of America (BFA) is a 501c3 non-profit group for the advancement of lighter-than-air aviation which includes hot air and gas balloons. Founded in 1960, located in Indianola, Iowa, BFA membership is open to everyone. The BFA partners with the National Balloon Museum to induct outstanding individuals into the United States Ballooning Hall of Fame. The Federation presents multiple awards including the Ed Yost Master Pilot Award and the National Crew Person Award. The BFA facilitates balloon events by providing advice and guidance on FAA compliance.

References

  1. Kim, Seung Min (July 31, 2004). "Hot-air balloons to take flight". Des Moines Register. pp. 1B. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  2. 1 2 "National Balloon Museum - History of Ballooning". Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010. Modern hot-air ballooning was born October 22, 1960 when Paul E. (Ed) Yost piloted the maiden flight of a balloon employing a new envelope and a new propane burner system which he developed. The flight lasted 25 minutes and traveled 3 miles ... The balloon was 40 feet in diameter with a volume of 30,000 cubic feet. For this accomplishment Yost is known as the father of modern hot-air ballooning. Soon, Yost’s company, Raven Industries, was making balloons for sale.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Ed Yost – Aviator, Inventor, and "Father of Modern Day Hot-Air Balloon" Dies". WebWire. May 28, 2007. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  4. "Gondola, Raven". airandspace.si.edu. AirandSpace. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
  5. William R. Berry, "Hot-Air Balloons Race on Silent Winds",  National Geographic 129:3 (March 1966), page 395.
  6. Associated Press. "Record Balloon Flight Made By Americans". Gadsden Times , April 14, 1963, p. 1. Retrieved on May 29, 2013.
  7. "Paul Edward Yost". Findagrave.com. Findagrave. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  8. http://www.interaeroleague.com Archived 2017-09-11 at the Wayback Machine International Aeronauts League
  9. Hevesi, Dennis. "Ed Yost, 87, Father of Modern Hot-Air Ballooning, Dies" Archived 2018-08-13 at the Wayback Machine , The New York Times , 2007-06-04. Retrieved on 2007-10-31.