The First Hot Air Balloon - Everything You Need to Know

First Hot Air Balloon

If you’ve ever been to a hot air balloon festival, then you know just how captivating these massive balloons can be. But where did they come from? Who invented this fascinating mode of transportation and why was it created in the first place? Read on for some insight into the history of the first hot air balloon.

When was the hot air balloon invented?

When was the hot air balloon invented?

The first hot air balloon was invented in the late 1700s. The exact year is speculated on, but it's widely accepted to have been 1783. While there were previous hot air balloons around the world and even in Europe prior to the first hot air balloon, this is the first recorded instance of a group effort to create and fly one.

Who invented the hot air balloon?

Who invented the hot air balloon?

The first hot air balloon was invented by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne. In 1782, Joseph was reportedly inspired by a paper making experiment which used smoke to inflate the sheets of paper.  From there, the brothers began experimenting with smoke to inflate other objects.

Jacques-Étienne successfully inflated a bag using hot air from a fire on September 19, 1782.  Joseph reportedly had more success later that year when he was able to inflate a larger bag using heated smoke from straw.

The brothers began to plan a public demonstration of their balloon, and they reportedly invited Benjamin Franklin to view it in action. However, Franklin declined their invitation.

Who flew the first hot air balloon?

On September 19, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers launched a balloon filled with hot air from the King’s tennis court at Versailles. The balloon was considerably larger than the one that Jacques-Étienne had previously created. It flew for about eight minutes and reached a height of almost one mile.

That same day, the first successful manned flight occurred with Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes. The men took off from the same location as the balloon and flew for almost 25 minutes before landing safely about five miles away. The first recorded instance of a manned flight in a hot air balloon was reportedly one for the history books.

Where was the hot air balloon invented?

The first hot air balloon was invented in Annonay, France by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783.

Why was the hot air balloon invented?

The first hot air balloon was invented to be used for public entertainment. The Montgolfier brothers wanted to offer the common people a chance to see something as extraordinary as a balloon flight. As a result, the first hot air balloon was used for public entertainment and not military purposes or any other practical use.