November, 21st 1783 was the first time a manned hot air balloon flew. It took off in France from within the grounds of Chateau la Muette. The hot air balloon was constructed from linen and paper and designed by two brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier. Its pilots were two French noble men, Pilatre de Rozier and his friend Marquis d'Arlandes. The hot air needed to make it rise was provided by a fire lit under the balloon and a burning cauldron to provide hot air during the flight. When released it rose slowly above Chateau la Muette and drifting over the Paris roof tops. This was the first confirmed flight by an aircraft by man.

Hot air ballooning technology has advanced a long way since then. In 1960 modern hot air ballooning was born. Later balloons were being fuelled by a practical propane burner that delivered a substantial amount of necessary hot air. An American space engineer called Edward Yost designed the system and combined it with new non-rip nylon materials, making the balloons lighter and much more affordable.

Other useful ballooning links

Please find a selection of useful hot air ballooning links below:

Essex Balloons © 2024.