Heading into the Home Stretch

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After a couple of big days, Kevin has worked nearly 20 of the past 48 hours — finishing at 5 AM Sunday, all of the vertical load tapes have been attached and the 12 gores have been joined into a single piece. To reach this point, Kevin has put in a total of approximately 100 hours of work.

Kevin is planning to buy/beg/borrow/steal a basket and burner set-up (in ballooning parlance these are collectively known as the “bottom end” of the balloon.) So the remaining tasks for this month are focused on completing the envelope.

Kevin’s “To Do” list from here is:

1. Cut and sew disk-shaped top vent (aka “parachute”)
2. Attach loops, cordage, and Velcro for vent.
3. Attach bottom panel of Nomex to each gore
4. Finish vertical load tapes– looping and reinforcing top and bottom ends
5. Attach horizontal load tapes
6. Close up envelope (sew final vertical seam)
7. Attach cables

Kevin has a busy week in front of him. But, with luck, we’ll be looking for a calm day sometime next weekend to “stand up” the balloon for the first time. Kevin has to hit the road early the following week. That leaves a few days to spare, but not many.

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