Here is a "ballooning fan" (Balloon = gas inflated airship)
I : Context
The philosophical development of the
ideas in Europe, and mainly in France, major state and nation
at that time, (whose language played the international role
now deserved to american english), the expansion of scientific
discoveries of any kind, the decline of the Christian Churches
influence on society bring the beginning of the " religion of
the progress ", which will open out in XIXème century,
and whose XXème century will deceive some waitings...
showing some limits, defects and failures.
It is noticed that, if sea navigation
could develop empirically during centuries and randomly shores,
the aviation history is indissolubly related to progress of
science; to imitate what the birds do while being played, Man
was obliged to appeal to the most abstract resources of its
Léonardo da Vinci, first of
all, studied scientifically the matter. Its drawings show it
: he had a presentiment of helicopter, airplane, parachute.
One even said he would have tested a full-scale sailplane. During
XVIth century, Bate (an english man) introduced in Europe the
Chinese fashion of the stag-wheel. Several unlucky persons continued
Icare's dream. Besnier, (a metal worker in Le Mans, France)
would have succeeded in flying as soon as 1673, and in 1742,
the marquis de Bacqueville would have traversed the Seine
River, in Paris. But it is the discovery of the "aerostat"
by the brothers Joseph and Étienne Montgolfier (paper
makers) that caused an extraordinary passion for the " spheres
II : 1783, Space Conquest year
Joseph and Jacques
Montgolfier worked for the family paper-making firm at Annonay,
near Lyon, France. Their invention was initially inspired
by watching a shirt billow as it dried by a fire. Their paper
and chimney experiments led to the development of the hot-air
On April 4, 1783
they gave their gave their first public demonstration their
home town. This unmanned balloon traveled almost 2km, and reached
a height of about 2,000m. It was made of cloth and lined with
paper coated with alum its multiple sections held together by
around 2,000 buttons
Meanwhile, Jacques Charles,
another Frenchman, was working on the first hydrogen balloon.
This was more scientifical, more efficient (hydrogen is the
lightest of all gases) and safer. But the first flight (unmanned
too) took place only three weeks after the Montgolfiers demonstration
The experiments, beginning in summer 1783, multiplied
indeed. An ascent of Charles balloon took place in Champ de Mars
in Paris, on August 27, in front of a significant crowd (6000 people
had paid their place). A cord of guards protected Messieurs Robert,
Charles and of Montgolfier. The balloon, twelve feet in diameter,
quickly rose and landed in Gonesse after 3/4 of hour of flight,
not without sudden starts. In Versailles, on September 19, in front
of the king and the court, Montgolfier let a 40000 cubic feet sphere
raise, thus carrying out the first inhabited flight of the history
of humanity. Indeed the nacelle contained a sheep, a cock and a
duck, which did not suffer too much from their experiment. "
The sheep ate quietly, but the duck and the cock had taken refuge
in a corner and... at least were very astonished " But on November
21, 1783, at the Château de La Muette, in Paris, Pilâtre
de Rozier and the marquis d'Arlandes carry out the first ascent
on board of a hot air balloon , designed by the Montgolfier brothers.
This balloon, after taking of from the Château de La Muette
(in Bois de Boulogne), flew over Paris, above the roofs of the Invalids
Palace and of the Military Academy and, after 25 minutes of flight,
landed at approximately 8 kilometers.