Balloon - Foxtrot Charlie

The Foxtrot Charlie balloon is named after the pilots Barbara Fricke and Peter Cuneo, taking the first letter of their last names and applying the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, i.e. F & C or Foxtrot Charlie. The FC designation was part of the aircraft registration number applied to their Helium certified gas balloon, N47FC. Peter was 47 years old at the time, and the FC is the first use of the Foxtrot Charlie team designation. The balloon was built by Barbara and Peter in cooperation with Bert Padelt in 1997.
With the sudden "shortage" and spiking price of Helium, the team commissioned Padelt to build a Hydrogen certified gas balloon. N505HY, 505 for New Mexico (it's the phone area code) and HY for Hydrogen, was built in 2009. Each of the gas balloons is 1,000 cubic meters in volume, or about 30,000 cubic feet. That's about one-third the size of an normal hot air balloon. The balloons are white in color to reflect the sun during the day and thus reduce the amount of solar heating that takes place during daytime hours.