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About Us Balloon HistoryBALLOON HISTORY

It was over 220 years ago the first Hot Air Balloon flight took place. In 1774, Joseph Priestly wrote Experiments and Observations with Different Types of Air. Translated into French three years later, Priestlys document inspired paper manufacturer, Joseph Montgolfier, to start experimenting with different kinds of air masses. In 1782, Joseph and his brother, Etienne succeeded in flying small paper and cloth balloons. Without the Montgolfier brothers, one of mankinds oldest dreams might never have come true! On June 4 th, 1783, the first hot air balloon in history was launched in Annoy, France.

The brothers designed a balloon measuring 800 cubic meters that rose to a height of 1,000 metres and traveled two kilometers. A fire of straw, moist wool and even old shoes fueled the balloon! The Montgolfier brothers believed that smoke caused the balloons light fabric to rise. It was only later that the principle of rising hot air was realized.

On November 21st, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers applied themselves once again, allowing two gentlemen, Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis dArlandes, to be the first humans to christen the sky. This balloon measured 2,200 cubic meters and was fueled by an iron furnace. The flight lasted 25 minutes and rose to 900 meters, landing 10 kilometers from its starting point.

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