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The Worlds First Ten Manned Balloon Flights to Take Place

By Russell Deasley @Worlds_Top_10

After these first ten flights you are about to read about, the pace of ballooning accelerated rapidly: on 7 January 1785 Jean-Pierre Blanchard achieved the first Channel crossing with Dr John Jeffries (the first American to fly). They also carried the first airmail letter. As they lost height, they had to reduce weight, so they threw everything overboard, including their clothes. I love that story and here are ten stories from the worlds first ten balloonists...

The Worlds First Ten Manned Balloon Flights to Take Place

10 - Vincenzo Lunardi - 15th September 1784

On 15th September 1784, watched by a crowd of 200,000 Vincenzo Lunardi ascended from the Artillery ' (Company Ground, Molleda, London, flying to Standon near Ware ln Hertfordshire, the first ever balloon {light in England. (An attempt the previous month by a Dr Moret ended with the balloon catching fire and the crowd rioting.) Lunardi went on to make further flights in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

9 - James Tytler - 27th August 1784

On 27th August 1784 James Tytler (known as 'Bnlloon 'gytler'). a doctor and newspaper editor, took oll'from omely Gardens, Edinburgh, achieving a 127-m/350~ft hop in a homemade balloon the first (and until Smooth in 1837, the only) hot~air balloon flight in Great Britain.

8 - Nicolas-Louis Robert - 19th of July 1784

On the 19th of July 1784 (following the 15 July failure of a flight by Nicholas-Louis Robert and the Duke of Chartres that lasted barely five minutes), Robert and his brother. Anne-Joan, flow 255 lint/159 miles from Paris to Bethune.

7 - M. Fleurand and Mme Thiblé - 4th June 1784

0n 4th June 1784 M. Fleurand made a flight at Lyons accompanied by Mme Thiblé, an opera singer, who was thus the first woman to fly. (The archioness de Montalembert had ascended on 20th May 1784, but in a tethered balloon.)

6 - M. Adorne - 15th May 1784

On 15th May 1784 M. Adorne and an unnamed passenger crash-landed near Strasbourg.

5 - Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau - 25th April 1784

25th April 1784 (and 12 June) Guyton de Morveau, a French chemist, and l'Abbé Bertrand flew at Dijon.

4 - Jean-Pierre Blanchard - 2nd March 1784

2nd March 1784 Jean Pierre Francois Blanchard, after experimental hops during the preceding months, made his first flight from the Champ de Mars, Paris.

3 - Paolo Andreani and the brothers Augustino and Carlo Giuseppe Gerti - 25th February 1784

25th February 1784 Chevalier Paolo Andreani and the brothers Augustino and Carlo Giuseppi Gerti made the first ever flight outside France, near Milan.

2 - Jacques Charles, C. Charles and Nicholas-Louis Robert - 1 December 1783

On 1 December 1783, watched by a crowd of 400,000, Jacques A. C. Charles and Nicholas-Louis Robert ma e the first ever flight in a hydrogen balloon. They took off from the Tuileries, Paris, and travelled about 27 miles north to Nesle in a time of about two hours. Charles then took off again alone, thus becoming the first solo flyer.

1 - Montgolfier brothers - 5 June 1783

The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph and Etienne, tested their first Francois hot-air balloon in the French town of Annonay on 5 June 1783. They were then invited to demonstrate it to Louis XVI at Versailles. On 19th September 1783 it took off with the first ever airborne passengers a sheep, a rooster and a duck. On 21 November 1783 Francois Laurent (Marquis d'Arlandes) and Jean-Frangois Pilatre de Rozier took off from the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, in a Montgolfier hot-air balloon. This first-ever manned flight covered a distance of about 9 kin/5.5 miles in 23 minutes, landing safely near Gentilly. On 15 June 1785 de Rozier and his passenger were killed near Boulogne when their hydrogen balloon burst into frames during an attempted Channel crossing, making them the first ever air fatalities.

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