A ballooning fan


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 engineering.

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 1

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 balloon.

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 at Annonay.

  click !


  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.