Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The inventors of the hot air balloon were the Montgolfier brothers. their names were Joseph Michel and Jaques …tienne Montgolfier. Joseph the oldest was born August 26,1740 and Jacques the younges was born January 6,1745.
Their father was a paper manufacturer in Annonay,France. When playing with paper bags over open fire they found that the bags rose to the ceiling. This led them to experiment further with larger bags made of other materials. During 1782 they tested indoors with silk and linen.
On December 14, 1782 they succeeded in an outdoor launch of an 18 measure; silk bag, which reached an altitude of 250 miles.
On June 5,1783, as a first public demonstration, they sent up at Annonay a 900 miles linen bag inflated with hot air. Its flight covered 2 killometers, lasted 10 minutes, and had an estimated altitude of 1600 - 2000 miles.
The subsequent test sent up the first living beings in a basket attached to the balloon: a sheep, a duck and a cockerel, to ascertain the effects of the air at higher altitude. This was performed at Versailles, before Louis XVI of France, to gain his permission for a trial human flight.
An ascent in a fixed balloon took place around October 15 (12 or 14 according to Montgolfier), to an altitude of 26 miles.
On November 21, 1783, the first free flight by humans was made by Pil‚tre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes who flew aloft for 25 minutes about 100 metres above Paris for a distance of nine killometers.
This was followed by further flights, including a crossing of the English Channel on January 7, 1785, by Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries.
Only one of the brothers (the exact one is unkown) ever flew himself in a balloon, and then only once.
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