Insturments are essential for the safe operation of a balloon.
The essential instruments in every aircraft are the altimeter and variometer and a balloon is no exception. In addition to the tried and tested Piccolo combined instrument, there are newer options that offer the pilot more information and options.
The most popular instrument at the moment is the Swiss made Flytec 3040. This instrument combines an altimeter, variometer, and a wireless thermometer that shows the temperature at the top on the envelope and the outside air temperature. Its display is well arranged and it includes 2 sets of batteries – planned redundancy. This insturment has a wireless transmitter that fits onto the top of the envelope. Each instrument and its associated temperature transmitter has a unique code to prevent interference between balloons with similar systems.
A more advanced instrument that is becoming increasingly popular is the Flytec 6040. This instrument, in addition to all the features of the 3040, has a built in GPS. This GPS depicts track differences at the different altitude that the balloon has passed through.
For flight operations in or around controlled airspaces there is another instrument that is compulsory – a VHF Air band radio. We are current offering two ICOM radios - the A6E and the A15.
GPS and Laptops
GPSs either as a free standing instruments or coupled into a lap top or tablet are increasingly popular . These are optional and not essential equipment and are not, because they are updated so frequently, stocked by Kubicek Balloons. However we and our dealers use them all the time and we are very willing to share our experience with you.