A strong plastic
membrane is accelerated by the pressure of compressed hydrogen gas.
Massive projectile is attached to the membrane and released when the
projectile reaches its maximum velocity. The loaded balloon gun
is located between two stratospheric balloons. It is extremely cheap
to build, but not as reusable as the other gas guns. Central part of
the membrane is exposed to extreme forces, so it must be disposable.
Outside surface of the top balloon is covered with hanging fibers which
absorb energy of the plastic membrane when the membrane hits walls of
the balloon. The maximum projectile velocity may be as high as 3 km/s
because there is some
transverse flow of the hydrogen gas and because the gun is tapered.
Brady Hauth invented the loaded
balloon gun. Andrew Nowicki improved it a little. No bibliography.
Loaded balloon gun
The stress in the central part of the membrane is much less severe
when the projectile is replaced with low-pressure hydrogen gas on the
vacuum side of the membrane. This so called unloaded balloon gun
can provide fast flowing hydrogen for a loaded balloon gun. The two
stage (unloaded and loaded) balloon gun is useful because it reduces
stress in the membranes. A multitude of small, unloaded balloon guns can
provide fast flowing hydrogen for a long gas gun of another kind, such
as the vortex gun or the