Our purpose was test and experiment with different numbers of candles and different number of holes in the tin can to find out the optimum amount of holes and candles to use such that the balloon will stay in flight for the maximum amount of time. We also had to create a frame for holding the balloon up whilst in flight. This involved some trigonometric calculations to find out the length of wire needed to make a frame that will be tall enough to prevent the balloon melting.
Firstly we put together the wire frame for holding up the balloon. This involved sawing coat hanger wires, using pliers to bend the wire and a few calculations to work out the exact length required. Afterwards we began experimenting with different number of candles in the tin can. A tin can full of lots of holes and containing 100 candles burnt continuously for approximately eight minutes. However, we decided that 100 candles might to be too heavy to use in the final flight such that we concluded on a value of 90 for the actual flight. Having carried out various tests we came to the conclusion that the more candles used, the longer and stronger the flame is, thus the longer the balloon will stay in flight. However, the weight factor also had to be taken into consideration. Having made the frame, attached the tin can (containing the 90 candles) and attached the balloon and the cameras, we were ready for the final flight….
The first problem that we came across was how to hold the candles together. The use of metal foil meant it was hard to hold the candles in place and also restricted the burning. In the end we decided to use string to hold the candles in place. Another difficult task was to attach the camera to the tin can. It took a lot of measuring and cutting of wires to hold and secure to camera in such a way that it was level and stable.