The First Way for Humans to Fly

Posted on Thu, June 23, 2016

Human beings first took to the sky in balloons. Jacques and Etienne Montgolfier, two paper makers from Annonay, France, designed and built a hot air balloon that carried the first passengers aloft on November 21, 1783. Days later, the chemist Jacques Charles and a companion, Nicolas-Louis Robert, flew in a hydrogen balloon from the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The techniques and technologies of ballooning discovered in the 18th century remain the guiding principles of lighter-than-air flight today.

  • The Return of the Balloon of J.A.C. Charles

    J.A.C. Charles’ balloon returning to Paris by a horse drawn cart following its 27 mile flight from the Tuileries.

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