Georgian Ballooning



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    Ballooning started in 1709 when Bartolemeu de Gusmao, a priest from Brazil flew a model hot air balloon for Johan V of Portugal.

    The first hot air balloon flight to carry passengers was on the 19th of September 1783. The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Ettienne,launched a balloon with the passengers being a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The reason why they had the honor as the first to fly in a hot air balloon is because Louis XVI had decreed that the first flight should be flown with animals. While the cock died from a broken neck on landing, the other animals survived, proving that it was possible to breathe up there in the sky. It was literally hot air. A picture of the Montgolfier balloon is to the left.

    . The first recorded manned balloon flight was two months later on 21st of November 1783. The balloon was piloted by Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis dıArlandes, two noblemen from the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

    The flight that took place in Paris was in a balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers. It was made from paper and silk. The flight itself started from the center of Paris and lasted 22 minutes, reached heights of 500 feet and traveled a distance of 9 kilometers before finally landing in the vineyards. Once landed, the pilots offered champagne to the frightened and weary farmers.

    On 1 December 1783, Professor Jacques Charles flew in his hydrogen gas filled balloon, proving that the unreliable hot air balloon was not the only mode of transport. In 1785, de Rozier thought to experiment with a hybrid of the two types of balloon. Since each type had its advantages, would not a combination of the two be even better? But the balloon caught fire and exploded half an hour after takeoff, and de Rozier fell to his death.

    Major Balloon Ascensions in Britain
    Nov 25, 1783, Four days after the first manned flight in France, the first Balloon was launched from England from the Artillery ground, Finsbury. It was lauched by Count Zambeccari. The balloon, filled with Hydrocarbon, was found 48 miles away near Petworth.

    September 15, 1784, The first person ascended in a Balloon in Britain when Lunardi ascended from the Artillery Ground, Moorfield. He took his cat, dog and a pigeon. And 'exact representation' of Mr Lunardi in his balloon was drawn for the occassion (see picture to the right) You can read about it by clicking here

    March 23, 1785 - Count Zambeccari ascends with Admiral Sir Edward Vernon.

    June 29, 1785 - The first woman Englishwoman, Mrs Sage, ascends.

    July 5, 1802 - M Ganeri made a number of ascents around London this year, on July 5th he parachutes down from one.

    1811 - James Sadler ascends from Hackney with his two sons John and Windham.

    July 19th 1821, the first balloon ascension using coal gas instead of hydrogen gas. It is on George IV coronation day.

    In 1824 Windham is killed when he falls from a balloon

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