Working through my ignorance with your help.
While the video is very pretty, I suspect that the people who made it have never seen a high-altitude helium-filled balloon take off. There's none of this "slowly lift off the pad" business, the ones I've seen have all taken off like a bat out of hell.I'm kind of surprised at the retractable landing skids, too. Why on earth would you need or want retractable landing gear on a balloon gondola? It's not like it needs to be streamlined or anything. I think it would be more important that the landing gear be able to handle what is very likely to be a pretty rough touchdown.Overall, I think the whole operation would be less serene and majestic than they show, with a much more abrupt takeoff, and a considerably more terrifying landing.
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