The history of Hot Air Balloon ~

The History of Hot Air Balloon ~

The history of hot air ballooning all began in France more than two hundred years ago. two brothers named Joseph and Enenntia Montgolfier were working in their familyís paper making factory when they made a discovery that would lead to one of the most fascinating inventions of the sky. They saw that bits of paper would rise when exposed to the heat and smoke of the fire. Experimenting with this idea, they made little hot air balloons out of paper and floated small things across the room. One thing lead to another and on June 5, 1783 the Montgolfier brothers publicly lunched there first large scale balloon and took to the skyís over Annoney France. The flight lasted for 10 minuets and the balloon traveled up to 6,000 feet and flew a mile and a half before coming back to the ground.

Later that same year on September 19, 1783 before King Louis III, Marie Antoinette and there court, Pilatre De Rozier (a young scientist) launched the first balloon carrying passengers, a duck, a lame, and a roster. The balloon was filled with smoke and hot air over a fire and at the word of Rozier the balloon was released to reached an altitude of 1,700 feet. It traveled for eight minuets before landing 2 miles away. All the passengers were fine and unhurt. It is said that the lamb kicked the duck and broke itís leg, but other then that they were all in perfect health. From this flight people could see that it was safe to fly and that the air up high was not toxic, and was proven that humans could fly. November 21, 1783 is a day to remember in hot air balloon history. The King had given permission that men could fly. In Paris on this day a balloon was waiting take two men in the air to be the first men recorded to have flown in a hot air balloon. These two men were Marquis Francois dí Anlandes, a major in his Majestyís Infantry, and Pilatre de Rozier. Present was the famous scientist from the United States Benjamin Franklin, the King and Queen of France as well as 400,000 other people. The flight lasted 22 minuets and covered 7 miles.

During the time when the science behind hot air balloons was being researched, scientists were also researching Gas balloons. In December not more then two weeks after the Montgolfier balloon took the two Frenchmen in flight over Paris, a Hydrogen balloon was launched from Paris with J. A. C. Charles and his assistant. Gas balloons were becoming very popular, not only did there flights last longer but they also did not require a big smoky fire to inflate. Soon the hot air balloon was completely replaced by the preferred hydrogen balloon, and it was not until Ed Yost came along that hot air ballooning would once again be popular. The invention of the balloon spread far and wide and many historical flights were made soon after 1783. One of these was the tragic flight of Rozier and Romain his companion, on their flight over the English Channel. The balloon was the first that hydrogen and hot air. The fire for the hot air lit the hydrogen and the balloon burst into flames over the channel. The two men were lost. The first manned flight made over American soil was flown by the French Balloonist Blacherd in 1793. He launched the balloon from the Philadelphia prison yard with President George Washington and 50,000 people present. Although November 21 1783 was the first recorded flight by man kind, there is reason to believe that the Nazca people, living in South America, knew the secret of the hot air balloon, over 2,000 years ago. In South America there are many huge mounds that extend many miles wide. From above one can see that these mounds make pictures in the land that can only be seen from the air. Researchers backed by the International Explorers Society set out to prove this by recreating a balloon like what the Nazcaís would have had. Raven Industries was given the job of building this balloon, which they did using only materials available to the Nazcaís during that period. The test flight was successful proving that man could have flown 2,000 years ago! In the 1950-60ís a man named Ed Yost resurrected the idea of the hot air balloon. Working under the office of navel research ONR, Yost was given the job of making a balloon that could transport small loads short distances. With this project he made the modern light bulb shaped envelope, propane burner, and many modern safety features. The birthday of the modern hot air balloon was on October 10, 1960 in Burning Nebraska. The ONR however lost interest in the project abandoning Yost with all of his completed work. As a result Yost created Raven Industries, the first modern hot air balloon manufacture. Yost is now knows as the father of the modern hot air balloon.

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