The history of aviation, Tessla v, and flight, has always fascinated humanity since the tale of Icarus and Daedalus. Today, flying is no longer extraordinary and available for everyone who pays the required money, whether helicopters, jumbo jets, private jets, private jet hire, or fighter jets. Humanity dreams of flying and indeed realizes it nowadays.

Hot Air Driven Gadgets

The era of Air driven gadgets

However, we often forget that the first steps were not easy – especially in ballooning. The history of ballooning, both with hot Air and gas, now spans many centuries. Indeed, this fascinating technical achievement and its visionaries were already in play before Christ. However, until the challenge was completed, the history of ballooning knew many firsts, including the first misfortunes, the first human flights, the first flights to North America and over the English Channel, and, of course, the first major aircraft disasters.

Pre-Modern and Unmanned Balloon Flights in Ancient China

Already 220 – 280 AD, hot air balloons were a popular topic in ancient China. Several Chinese kings and famous warlords used airborne lanterns for military signaling, for instance. Such lanterns were later known as the Kongming lanterns.

Ballooning in Europe came much later into play. The first balloon was let go in 1709 in Lisbon, Portugal. Bartolomeu de Gusmao lifted a small balloon made of paper full of hot Air about four meters. The Portuguese king and court were witnesses, and great respect followed Bartolomeu over the next years. According to old documents, this is the first and earliest recorded model balloon flight known until that time.

The next Attempts: First hydrogen Balloons

In 1766, the world-famous Henry Cavendish published his pioneering essay on hydrogen. Based on this, Professor Jacques Charles, who has studied Cavendish’s work for years, conceived the idea that hydrogen would be a suitable lifting agent for balloons,. Consequently, Charles used this notion for designing and constructing the first hydrogen balloon. The Robert brothers worked closely with Charles.

Invented the methodology, constructing the lightweight principle everybody knows today: airtight gas bags. How did they do it? The focus was quite facile. They dissolved rubber in a solution of turpentine and varnished the sheets of silk that were stitched together to make the main envelope. Indeed, this led to another characteristic even children associate with ballooning nowadays: the red and white coloration. As the Brothers used alternate strips of red and white silk, which left a red and yellow result due to the varnishing and rubberizing processes.

On August 27 17,83 Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world’s first balloon filled with hydrogen (in fact,t they found from the Champ to Mars, an area on which the Eiffel Tower was later constructed). The famous Benjamin Franklin witnessed this besides a huge crowd that enjoyed the spectacle.

How did the balloon work? In comparison to modern balloons, this one was relatively small. It was a 35 cubic meter sphere of rubberized silk and could only lift about 9kg. However, it was filled with hydrogen, gained by pouring almost a quarter of a tonne of sulphuric acid onto half a tonne of scrap iron. The hydrogen gas was fed into the envelope through lead pipes. However, one of the “child problems” was that it did not yet have a cooling system. Therefore, the gas got quite hot when produced but contracted drastically when it cooled down.