< Full Calendar

21-11-1783

First balloon flight over Paris

French inventor Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, the Marquis d' Arlandes, make the first manned hot-air balloon flight, travelling five miles over Paris in 25 minutes. Their cloth balloon was crafted by French papermaking brothers Jacques Étienne and Joseph Michel Montgolfier, who believed that smoke, not hot air, caused balloons to rise.

Fuelling the balloon’s burner with a combination of damp straw and rags, Pilâtre and d'Arlandes, took off from the Chateau de la Muette and ascended as high as 3,000 feet before returning safely to earth. The previous September, the Montgolfiers sent a sheep, a rooster, and a duck aloft in one of their balloons in a prelude to the first un-tethered manned flight. The barnyard animals stayed afloat for eight minutes and landed safely two miles from the launch site.