The Envelope (the brightly colored part made of either nylon or polyester and holds air). It is constructed from long sections called gores which extend from the base all the way up to the top and are made of many panels. The material is the same as used in parachutes, is very tightly woven and coated to keep it non-porous. The bottom part of the envelope is referred to as either the skirt (material that extends completely around), or a scoop (it only goes half way around).
The basket or gondola, is the part of the balloon that carries the passengers, pilot, and propane tanks. Baskets can carry anywhere from 1-30 passengers. Wicker is widely used because of it's flexibility and usually have a wooden floor.
The burner is the engine of the aircraft. Smaller balloons have one and the larger they are the more burners needed. Some have as many as 4. Propane is the fuel used in the United States although a propane butane mixture can be used although it is less efficient.
The required instruments area Pyrometer-temperature gauge, altimeter-tells your height in the air, variometer-tells your speed of ascent or descent.
These are balloon manufacturers: Avian Ballooning Corp (USA), Ballonau WArner (Germany), Cameron Balloons (UK & USA), Firefly Balloons (USA), Head Balloons (USA),
Kavanagh Balloons (Australia), Kubicek Balloons (Czech), Lindstrand Balloons (UK & USA),
National Balloons (USA), Ultramagic Balloons (Spain), among a few others. Each company may have regional dealers.