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Centuries of Balloon Rides

Jun 13, 2008
Balloon rides are a type of aircraft used for amusement. The first aircraft invented was a hot air balloon.

The first aircraft invented was a hot air balloon. This balloon was built by the Montgolfier Brothers and was flown by Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d Arlandes last November 21st of the year 1783. This is in France, over 120 years before the Wright Brothers invented and got their first flight.

The balloon was wrapped with a paper, and the gas had a straw which was burned in the center of a large spherical basket. Only a few days later, Professor Jacques Charles launched the initial gas balloon made from a polished silk envelope filled with hydrogen.

Thus, only two kinds of balloons can be flown up to the present. This would be the hot air and the gas balloon which was also developed in the same year, during Professor Jacques Charles time.

Hot air balloons function via gravity and heat transfer. The propane burners warm the air within the balloon and covers as much as 250 degrees F. This allows the pilot to get the balloon up to whatever height he or she desires. As the temperature cools down, the gravity will pull you back to earth.

Hot air balloons fly with some passengers just a few feet above the ground up to as high as four thousand feet. The temperature is usually from 5 up to 6 degrees. Normal flights for traveling are about an hour. This is in a span of four miles with the distance depending on the weather of the day. The entire trip usually takes about three hours from your arrival at the assembly until the return to location.

During your travel, you can wear any comfortable clothing you have but bring a slightly warmer sweatshirt or cotton jacket. For morning flights it will be very warm so wear layered clothes. This is good if you don't want to endure too much heat. You need to wear rubber shoes also. Do not wear sleeveless clothing in order to avoid getting heat from the burners.

Hence, Hot air balloons which can be brought up and propelled throughout the air while slightly being pushed by the wind are known as "airships". A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the wrapper that is capable of containing intense air. Lately, balloon envelopes have been made into incredible shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of commercial products.

Other Facts about Hot Air Balloons:

* There are also some conjectures that hot air balloons might have been used by the Nazca culture of Peru about 1500 years ago.

* Only in the year 1818 did technical illustration show the earlier balloon designs.

* The first recorded balloons capable of transporting passengers were actually hot air balloons. This is used in order to get "buoyancy". This was built by a certain Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier, which were brothers residing in Annonay, France at that time. The Montgolfier brother's family business was paper manufacturing.

* After further experimentation, the first balloon flight with humans on board was last October 19th of the year 1783 with the scientist Giroud de Villette, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier, Jean-Baptiste Reveillon on board. This is in Paris' Folie Titon. However, officially, the first flight ever recorded was about a month later, on November 21st of the year 1783.

* The first hot air balloons were made of cloth bags with a smoky fire built on a grill connected. This had the tendency to catch fire and it can be ruined upon landing, even so, this was an uncommon incident.

* The first military use of this aircraft in Europe took place during the French revolutionary wars. This was when the Frenchmen used a tethered hydrogen balloon in order to monitor the movements of the Austrian army in the Battle of Fleurus 1794.

* Today, hot air balloons serve a basic recreation purpose.

* There is an estimate of 7,500 hot air balloons operating in America.

* Last November 26th of the year 2005, Vijaypat Singhania rode the world's highest hot air balloon flight. It was able to do about 21,290 meters (69,849 feet) in altitude.

* The longest period of hot air balloon flight ever made was approximately 50 hours and 38 minutes.

* Modern versions of hot air balloons can be made up of strong and light-weight artificial fabrics like Dacron or Ripstop Nylon.
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