Thurston classic hot air balloon event in meadville, pennsylvania bp gas prices


Ballooning has a very long history in Meadville. The Thurstons were a Meadville family who were involved with ballooning in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Samuel Sylvester Thurston was born in 1834, and operated a hotel in Meadville. In 1860, Samuel learned how to fly from noted balloonist, Professor Steiner, and purchased a balloon. Townspeople were skeptical, but over the next 25 years, Samuel made 215 ascensions in his balloon. He enjoyed sharing his unusual sport with others, flying without charge at fairs, exhibitions, and 4th of July celebrations.

Alic had a variety of adventures during his career as a balloonist. His grappling hook, a crude landing device employed by early balloonists, ripped a chicken coop from its foundation, as his father Samuel had earlier torn the roof off of a farmer’s kitchen. On one occasion, he flew his balloon 180 miles to a landing in the forest near Emporium, Pennsylvania and had to return home by train. electricity review worksheet answers On another flight, he was becalmed at night over a lake. On at least one occasion, he launched his balloon from the roof of the Market House in downtown Meadville.

Both Samuel and Alic Thurston used the title of “Professor”, a title conferred by early aeronauts on themselves to convince the public that ballooning was a scientific and learner pursuit. Their ascensions attracted thousands of spectators and were followed closely in the newspapers of the time, the notion of people flying through the air was still very newsworthy in those days.

Joyce Stevens started with the Thurston Classic in the first year of its existence, Meadville’s Bicentennial year of 1988. She worked with Ted Watts as a paralegal, so it was instinct for him to get his go-to employee to take over the huge job of matching up pilots and official observers. That job cascaded into more and different duties during that weekend. None of us was very sure of what we were doing in that first year but Joyce helped make it happen. She was a major reason for our success.

Since then, Joyce proved herself to be the centerpiece of the Thurston. Year after year, the Thurston has gone on without missing a beat and it was all because of Joyce. Even we on the committee did not realize how much work she poured into the Thurston and we are still trying to catch up. Sadly, she passed away in March of 2017, too quickly. It was a shock to all of us. We miss our friend and our partner.

We are continuing to honor Joyce for all of her many years being the soul of the Thurston Classic. We will never be able to replace her and all we are left with is honoring her memory annually with the Joyce Stevens Memorial Night Glow. Hopefully, somehow she will be able to see the Thurston take flight once again and hopefully she will know how much she is missed.

Maury’s interest in ballooning dates to 1981 and has included sport and competitive ballooning as well as running a commercial balloon contract. Maury initiated the establishment of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Enshrinement Balloon Classic in 1986, served as the event chairman from 1986 to 1988 and served as the event’s Competition Director in all but four years. Maury has a commercial rating and has logged more than 850 hours.

Crewing at four US Nationals and participating in all US Teams events as an official competitor have fostered Maury’s interest in the competitive aspects of hot air ballooning. Maury and his teammates placed third in the 1999 US Teams and Maury was recognized as Rookie of the Year at the 2000 NABA US Nationals in Canton, Mississippi. During his active competitive career, Maury was a consistent top twenty pilot in the NABA National Ranking system ranking 12th (2005); 21 st (2003); 8th (2002); and, achieving his highest ranking of 2nd in 2001. electricity bill nye Maury was selected by the BFA’s Hot Air Competition Division to serve as the Event Director for the 2009, 2010,2016 and 2017 US National Hot Air Balloon Championships.

While Maury has found competitive flying both instructional and rewarding, he still finds his fondest balloon memories in “Fiesta-type” flying. He flew in the first balloon event in the Soviet Union in 1990, which took place in Leningrad (S1. Petersburg), USSR. On one memorable flight, he flew his balloon “Glasnost” less than 500 feet over a Soviet Mig air base and, yes, has photos. Not far behind in the most memorable flights category was flying from Canada to the US while seemingly skimming directly over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls. In February 2005 Maury participated in the NOBPA winter Long Jump. This is a flight designed to challenge the pilot and crew in a long-distance flight. This was Maury’s first real attempt at such a flight and he flew a total of 178 miles in a flight lasting three hours and forty-eight minutes.

Eclipsing his travels to the USSR and flying over Niagara Falls was his life-altering experience of traveling to Tibet and spending two weeks with the Dalai Lahma. gastronomia y cia Maury and the Dalai became best of friends and, in exchange for a balloon ride, the Dali bestowed one of life’s greatest treasurers on Maury – he was promised “total consciousness” on his deathbed. Maury and his wife have been heavily involved in organizing and officiating at several balloon events annually over the past ten years. He has served as chairman of the BFA and Holiday Balloon Fest joint planning committee for the 2012 World Hot Air Balloon Championship.

Maury has been involved with the Northeast Ohio Balloon Pilot’s Association (NOBPA) since 1982 and served as its Treasurer in 1997 and 1998 and as its President in 2000. Maury and Lynn served as chairmen of NOBPA’s annual Safety Seminar, Balloonowledge from 2002-2004 and Maury has organized the educational programming for the 2008 BFA National Convention.

Through his long friendship with Bob Zanella and Ted Watts, Maury has been involved with the Thurston Classic since its inception. With the passing of Bob in 2010, Maury was proud to take over for his mentor and serve as Balloonmeister for the Thurston Classic for all years since 2010 with the exception for 2016 when his oldest daughter was married that weekend. Maury and Lynn missed the Classic but said it was an easy choice.

What are balloons made of?• The balloon bag, or envelope, is made of reinforced nylon fabric. It’s very light (1.3. to 2.3 ounces per square yard), but very strong (25 to 100 pounds per square inch). Some envelopes are treated with a polyurethane coating to make them more airtight and to help the fabric withstand the ultraviolet rays that are emitted by the sun. The basket, or gondola, is made of woven wicker which is both strong and flexible. It is connected to the envelope by stainless steel or kevlar suspension cables.

How do balloons work?• Hot air rises. The envelope traps a large bubble of hot air. If the air in the envelope is heated by a burner, the balloon will rise. If the air in the envelope is allowed to cool, or if the hot air is vented from the top or side of the envelope, the balloon will descend. An altimeter is used to measure altitude and rate-of-climb. The altimeter and an envelope temperature gauge are the only instruments used in the balloon.

How big are balloons?• The most popular sport balloon is approximately 55 feet in diameter and 70 feet high – about the the same height as a seven-story building. The balloon has 1,750 square yards of nylon fabric in its envelope – about one-fifth of an acre in surface area, more than three miles of thread, and almost one-half of a mile of nylon webbing used for reinforcing. Its 77,550 cubic feet air capacity displaces almost 3 tons of air. gas monkey A sport balloon can carry three or four people.

How are balloons inflated?• The balloon envelope is spread on the ground and the gondola laid on its side to be attached to the envelope cables. A portable fan pushes cold air into the envelope. When the envelope is about half inflated with outside air, a propane burner is ignited until the air inside the envelope is heated enough for the balloon to rise to an upright position. With a small amount of additional heat, the balloon becomes buoyant. Inflation takes about 20 minutes to complete.

How many people does it take to fly a balloon?• To launch and fly a balloon safely requires a minimum crew of three people plus the pilot. Crew duties typically include preparing for the launch, following (or chasing) the balloon flight in the chase vehicle, obtaining permission from the landowner for the balloon landing and retrieval, keeping spectators out of the landing area, and ensuring that the landing area is left as it is found and that nothing is damaged.

What kind of fuel do balloons use?• Common liquid propane gas is used to heat a hot air balloon. Some balloons carry 40 gallons of propane in two 20 gallon stainless steel tanks, while others carry three – 10 gallon tanks. Propane is a stable and predictable fuel, but is highly volatile. It is carried in liquid form, under pressure in the tanks and supplied to the burners through flexible hoses. The burner flame may shoot out 6 to 8 feet in a blast which the pilot controls. A typical flight lasting 90 minutes, with three people aloft, will consume about 22 gallons of propane. Some balloons have two independent burner fuel systems for added safety.

How do pilots steer the balloons?• They really don’t. A balloon drifts in the same direction and at the same speed as the wind. The skill is for the pilot to pick the altitude that has the most desired wind direction. Surface winds and currents sometimes blow in a very different direction from the winds aloft. Altitude control is achieved with the burner. Longer burns achieve lift; shorter burns or none at all allow the air inside the envelope to cool as the balloon descends.

When is the best time to fly?• Weather conditions for ballooning are best just after sunrise and two to three hours before sunset. Light, ideal winds of zero to 8 miles per hour often occur at these times. electricity bill cost per unit During the day, when the sun is high, thermals (large bubbles of hot air that rise from the sun-heated earth) make ballooning hazardous, because they are unpredictable.