Believe it or not, hot air balloons have
a long and fascinating history. For all of you hot air balloon
fans out there; knowing a bit more about the hot air balloons
history, might make your next flight all the more impressive.
Hot Air Balloons History in Ancient
Peru: Hot air balloons history is filled remarkable
stories. For example, it’s been suggested that the earliest
use of unmanned hot air balloons might have been in Peru,
about 1,500 years ago, during the creation of the Nazca
Lines. These figures and lines or geoglyphs were created on
a high mountain plateau that stretches more over more than
50miles. Some scientists believe that hot air balloon
devices were used to help with the drawing perspectives for
these mysterious designs. For an ancient culture of farmers
to use hot air balloon technology in order to sketch giant
geometric lines, shapes and figures, (some reaching up to
886feet long) is truly a wonder.
Hot Air Balloons History in Ancient
China: Some other ancient uses for the hot air balloon may
be found in Chinese history. In the Three Kingdoms Era of
220-280AD, Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han kingdom, used similar hot
air balloon technology i.e. airborne lanterns, as military
signals. These “lanterns” are the oldest of hot air balloons
history. They were made with oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame.
Inside, the hot air balloons contain a small candle or fuel cell
composed of a waxy flammable material. Once the candle was lit,
the envelope would heat-up and begin to float. These sky-borne
lanterns were even used in festivals or to celebrate various
holidays and special occasions.
Hot Air Balloons History in Europe:
The hot air balloons history in Europe is a great one. On
October 19, 1783; the first manned hot air balloon took flight
in Annonay, France. This historical flight was made by
Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, who was a young physician and
an army officer named François Laurent d'Arlandes. These two men
were able to rise up to 3000feet in the air and they stayed in
the air for approximately 25minutes over a distance of 5miles.
Without the use of modernized hot air balloon systems, Jean and
Francois had to control their hot air balloon by adding straw to
the balloons miniature fire pit.
This first hot air balloon was invented by
the Montgolfier brothers and later that year, in recognition of
their achievement; their father Pierre was elevated to nobility
and the heritable title of de Montgolfier by King
Louis XVI of France. As you can imagine,
this was an astonishing and daring accomplishment for the time.
As such, this first flight of man was widely publicized and ever
since, the human-carrying hot air balloons history evolved very
Modern Hot Air Balloons: Hot air
balloons have been used for many reasons. Nowadays, they are
mostly used for recreational purposes. The first “modern-day”
hot air balloon was the Bristol Belle and it was built in the
United Kingdom in 1967. Hot air balloons history has yielded a
safer onboard heating source (which was invented by Ed Yost in
the 1950s) and an overall safer; more enjoyable flight
experience for anyone willing. Hot air balloons are now also
able to fly to higher than ever before. On November 26, 2005,
Singhania set the world record for highest hot air
balloon flight. Vijapat flew his hot air balloon to 68,986 feet
in the air! He took off from downtown Bombay, India, and landed
149 miles south in Panchale! All inclusive, there are a few
different types of modern hot air balloons, such as the Hybrid
and Solar balloons. Furthermore, there are now some 7,500 hot
air balloons operating in the United States. So, now that you
know your hot air balloon history; seek one out and enjoy your
own piece of hot air balloons history.