Balloon powered car racers are driven by air coming from a deflating balloon. Instead of using electricity, these cars make use of the Law of Action and Reaction. The car is propelled forward, as a result of the air coming from an inflated balloon. As a reaction to the force produced by the escaping air, a force acts towards the opposite direction thereby pushing the car racer forward.
Although balloon powered car racers have been around for quite a while, studies are still being made to maximize the distance and the speed with which these cars can travel. The designs are still being optimized so that the cars will be lightweight and durable. In 1998, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held its first annual balloon powered car race. In that event, the cars were propelled by either inflation of elastic methods . A lot of designs came up. The entries were judged according to factors like the distance covered, the speed and the creativity of the design. Other schools use balloon powered cars to show how Newton’s Laws work. Some even require the students to use recycled materials . All these are geared towards a concrete demonstration of both Newton’s Laws and caring for the environment.
In this day and age of constant threat to our environment, various ways of reducing air pollution and energy consumption are being explored. Cars whose emissions are part of the factors that contribute to air pollution, are being modified to be more environment-friendly. For more than 10 years now, researches on hybrid cars have been made, with Japan, US and some European countries as the spearheads. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is constantly looking for ways to improve this new technology . However, these cars are expensive to produce. Majority of the population, especially here in the Philippines, cannot afford a highly energy efficient and environment friendly vehicle. Also, problems like the...