A lighter than air craft. The Montgolfier brothers made the first flight in a hot air balloon in 1783.

Historical Notes

  1. December 1782 The first balloon was launched and ascended to an altitude of 300m. The balloon was made of paper and used air heated by burning wool and moist straw.
  2. 19 September 1783 Pilatre De Rozier launches the first hot air balloon with a sheep, a duck and a rooster as passengers.
  3. 21 November 1783 The Montgolfier brothers make the first flight in a hot air balloon.
  4. 1785 The first balloon crossing of the English Channel by Blanchard and Jeffries.
  5. 1932 Auguste Piccard was the first to achieve a manned flight to the Stratosphere (52,498 feet).
  6. 1935 Explorer 2, a gas helium balloon reached an altitude of 72,395 feet. This was the first time a pressurised chamber had been used and proved that humans could survive in a pressurized chamber at extremely high altitudes. This was a major milestone in aviation and space development.
  7. 1960 Captain Joe Kittinger increased the balloon altitude record to 102,000 feet. Captain Kittinger also set the high altitude parachute jump record and during his descent broke the sound barrier.
  8. 1978 Double Eagle II became the first balloon (helium filled) to cross the Atlantic carrying Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman. This was also a new flight duration record of 137 hours.
  9. 1981 The Double Eagle V makes first Pacific Ocean crossing from Japan to California, USA. This was also a new distance record of 5,678 miles.
  10. 1987 Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon.
  11. 1988 Per Lindstand set the highest solo flight in a hot air balloon at 65,000 feet.
  12. 1991 Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand are the first to cross the Pacific in a hot air balloon a distance 6,700 miles from Japan to Canada in 47 hours.
  13. 1998 Steve Fosset set a world balloon distance record of 22,975 kilometres when he made the first balloon crossing of the South Atlantic and Indian oceans.
  14. 1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones make the first around the world flight in a balloon, leaving from Switzerland and landing in Africa. The flight lasted 19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes and broke all distance records.

See also: Aerostat, Airship, Ballute, Charles, Jacques Alexander CÚsar, Constant Pressure Balloon, Montgolfier, Jacques Etienne, Montgolfier, Joseph.

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Subjects: Aviation Transport

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