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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Who Invented Hot Air Balloons?

Written by a grade 6 student, Sanjana Nayakanti

Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne discovered it in 1783. When Joseph was holding a shirt above hot air, it started to float. This got them thinking and with some more experimenting, they discovered about the hot air balloons.

By I Kid You Not , in Did You Know , at May 23, 2021 Tags: , , , , , ,

Written by a grade 6 student, Sanjana Nayakanti

First, let’s know what is a hot air balloon.

A hot air balloon basically is a basket tied to a very large or huge balloon. There is a good amount of gap between the two parts of the balloon where the people stand.

How does it work?

Hot air is generated by heating the air inside a hot air balloon with the fire kept on a small plate called a burner. The air inside the balloon becomes lighter and warmer than the cooler air outside it. This causes the balloon to float up (Just like the bubbles of hot water float and evaporate in the water cycles).

The opposite technique is used to bring it down. When the air is allowed to cool down, the balloon begins to slowly come down towards the ground. Modern hot air balloons use liquid propane tanks instead of fire.

Who invented it and how?

The credit for inventing hot air balloons goes to the Montgolfier brothers – Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne who are said to have created this in 1783.

This is what seems to have been the inspiration…(but no one can say for sure)

The two brothers are said to have been inspired by watching Joseph’s wife’s skirts, as they sort of swelled up in the kitchen from the heat of a burner being used to dry laundry. This gave them the idea of hot air..

The French brothers showed this invention publicly on September 19, 1783. The unmanned flight lasted 10 minutes.

Then, after a few experiments like these, the first balloon flight with humans aboard took place somewhere 1783, by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier -a pioneer in aviation. This was a flight that was tethered – that is it was tied to the ground with a long rope.

The first hot air balloon flown in the Americas is said to have been launched on January 9, 1793, by a French aeronaut named Jean Pierre Blanchard

Did you know that the first passengers sent on a flight were a duck, a sheep, and a chicken? They could enjoy the ride for 8 minutes before landing safely.

What’s special about it?

There are a lot of special things about hot air balloons. Let me name some.

The highest height ever recorded by a hot air balloon is said to be 68,986 feet above sea level (this is about 21 kilometers!)! 

The most famous hot air balloon rides in the world are found in:

  1. Cappadocia, (Turkey)
  2. Bagan, (Myanmar)
  3. Queenstown, (New Zealand)
  4. Albuquerque, (Mexico)
  5. Luxor, (Egypt)

What is the balloon made of?

  • The Hot Air Balloon’s Balloon is made out of several layers of nylon to make it strong and waterproof if rain arrives
  • The basket is made of a very strong and jute-like fiber called wicker/rattan popularly known as cane.

Now, since you know these amazing facts, you can share your new-found knowledge with all your friends and family and let them get amazed too!

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