Learn How Balloons Evolved with the

The History of Ballooning

Learn How Balloons Evolved with the

The History of Ballooning

The Birth of the Hot Air Balloon


Mankind’s obsession with the ability to fly can date back as far as 400 BC in China, after the discovery of the kite. During that time, the Chinese utilized kites for various purposes, which to include religious ceremonies, weather forecasting, and simply just for fun. The kite , of course, prompted more interest in flight. Later, a Greek engineer, Hero of Alexandria, invented the aeolipile, a rotating sphere, and in 1485, Leonardo da Vinci would create art which would serve as his proof that humans could actually fly. Much later, Davinci’s creation, the ornithopter, would serve as the catalyst for the creation of today’s helicopter.

Centuries later, the Montgolfier brothers would create the very first hot air balloon. In 1783, Joseph and Jaques Montgolfier would fill up a silk bag with smoke from a fire. They would connect the smoke- filled bag to a basket, and just like that, history was made. The very first hot air balloon was born.
Like food products, medication, and etc., we, the human society, have adapted to testing our creations on other animals, before we apply them to ourselves. And that is exactly what Joseph and Jaques Montgolfier would do. Their very first passengers were a duck, a rooster, and a sheep. Imagine that!

After the success of the animal passengers, man would attempt to sail across the skies in the hot air balloon. The very first successful human flight was November 21, 1783. In Paris, France, Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlends would be the first human passengers to accomplish this goal. Unfortunately and ironically, one of the first persons to make a successful voyage in a hot air balloon, Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier, would also be the first person to have a fatal accident in one. This incident occurred also in 1783; as de Rozier attempted to cross the English channel, his balloon exploded.

The first person to successfully fly a hot air balloon in the United States was French astronaut, Jean Pierre Blanchard, on January 01, 1793, from the Walnut Street jail in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Now that you know a bit of history about hot air ballooning, come and join us at Soaring Sports. Call us today at 1-855-266-7627. Create your memories and make your own ballooning history. Schedule your flight today!

The winds have welcomed you with softness
The sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well
That God has joined you in your laughter
and set you gently back into the loving arms of mother earth.The Balloonist's Blessing

Hot Air Ballooning: A Timeline of History Making Flights


1785


Jean Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries crossed the the English Channel, carrying a letter. This resulted in the world’s very first air-mail delivery.



1797


A.J. Garnerin made the very first jump from a hot air balloon from 3,000 feet above ground, which is a bit higher than today’s normal flight.



1836


The first long distance flight occurred. The Great Balloon of Nassau sailed from London to Walbury in a total of 18 hours.



1914-1918


Hot air balloons were used as a common tool of observation during World War I. They were also the first aircraft used in air warfare.



1960


Ed Yost made his first successful flight in a hot air balloon with the onboard heat source that he created in the 1950s.



1973


The very first hot air balloon world championship took place in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the second week of February.



1978


Britain’s first balloon fiesta. This has become Europe’s largest annual fiesta. It currently has over 130 balloons participating.



1999


Brian Jones and Bertrand Piccard made the first successful navigation around the world in a hot air balloon. The pair accomplished tis in a total of 20 days. On March 01, 1999, they landed safely in the Egyptian desert.



2002


The first solo trip around the world in a hot air balloon was made by Steve Fossette. Six times a charm! It would take Fossett a total of six attempts to accomplish this goal.



2009


Virgin Balloon flight pilot, Mark Shemilt made history as making the longest flight at a total of 7 hours and 32 minutes. Shemilt continued to maintain this record by sailing 120 miles the very next year.



2010


The first and only glass bottomed, named The Palletways Dragon balloon, sailed over Bath, England.



2013


408 hot air balloons took off from the former Nato base in Chambley, France, setting the record number of balloons in mass takeoff.


Create Your Own History On Your Own Ride
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