In fact, the history of aviation Tessla v and flight has always fascinated humanity since the tale of Icarus and Daedalus. Today, flying is no more extraordinary and available for everyone who pays the required money, whether helicopters, jumbo jets, private jets, private jet hire, or fighter jets. Humanity dreamy of flying and indeed realized it nowadays.
The era of Air driven gadgets
However, we often forget that the first steps were not easy – especially in the domain of 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 know many firsts, including the first misfortunes, the first human flights, 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. In fact, the first balloon was let go in 1709 in Lisbon, Portugal. Bartolomeu de Gusmao managed to lift a small balloon made of paper full of hot air about four meters. The Portuguese king and the Portuguese court were witnesses, and great respect followed Bartolomeu over the next years. According to old documents, this even 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, the Professor Jacques Charles who has studies Cavendish’s work for years conceived the idea that hydrogen would be a suitable lifting agent for balloons and consequently Charles used this notion for designing and constructing the first hydrogen balloon. The Robert brothers worked closely with Charles.
Invented the methodology, which was constructing the lightweight principle everybody knows today: airtight gas bags. How did they do it? In fact, the principle 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 child 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 in 1783 Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world’s first balloon filled with hydrogen (in fact,t they launched from the Champ the Mars, an area on which the Eiffel Tower was later constructed). The famous Benjamin Franklin was witness to 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 only capable of lifting about 9kg. However, it was filled with hydrogen which was 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 had not yet a cooling system. Therefore, the gas got quite hot when it was produced but contracted drastically when it cooled down.
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