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A sheep, a duck, and a rooster become the first passengers in a hot air balloon launched by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Ettienne.
The first recorded manned flight in a hot air balloon took place in Paris. Built from paper and silk by the Montgolfier brothers, this balloon was piloted on a 22-minute flight by two noblemen from the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. From the center of Paris they ascended 500 feet above the rooftops before eventually landing miles away in the vineyards. Local farmers were very suspicious of this fiery dragon descending from the sky. The pilots offered champagne to placate them and to celebrate the first human flight, a tradition carried on to this day.
In Lyon, France, the only recorded flight by Joseph Montgolfier was made in one of the largest balloons ever made.
An Italian, Vincenzo Lunardi, made the first balloon flight outside of France. The 500 cubic meter balloon flew from Moorfields in England and landed near Ware.
Launching their balloon from Rhedarium Garden, London, another Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, and an American, John Jeffries, make their first flight.
The same team of Jean-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries became the first to fly across the English Channel.
The first flight of a balloon in North America occurred in Philadelphia and was piloted by Jean-Pierre Blanchard.
The official birth date of the modern hot-air balloon. The first man-carrying free flight took place at Bruning, Nebraska, in the Raven prototype ‘modern’ hot–air balloon. The 30,000 cu ft envelope was constructed of a polyurethane coated nylon and the burner was propane powered.
By 1963, the growing sport was able to sustain the first U.S. national championships.