Timeline of Balloons and Ballooning

Here is a time line of development of balloons, from toys to first human flight a safe method of flight.

  • Around 200 AD : Chinese invented the sky lanterns (so called Kongming lanterns) which are considered the first hot air balloons. They were used for signalization in military and during the festivities.
  • 1709, August 8 : Brazilian-Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão made a presentation of a hot air balloon in Lisbon, in front of King John V and the Portuguese court. It was a small paper balloon made of paper that flew some 4 meters in the air.
  • 1783, June 5 : The Montgolfier Brothers demonstrate an unmanned hot air balloon in public, at Annonay.
  • 1783, August 27 : Professor Jacques Charles and the Robert Brothers launch unmanned hydrogen balloon: “Le Globe”.
  • 1783, September 19 : the Montgolfier Brothers launch their next hot air balloon but this time with passengers: sheep, duck, and rooster. The balloon flies 500m in the air and returns safely to the ground.
Picture Of First Public Demonstration Of A Balloon By Montogolfier
  • 1783, October 19: Montgolfier Brothers made first tethered balloon flight with human passengers. In the basket were scientist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, the manufacture manager, Jean-Baptiste Réveillon and Giroud de Villette.
  • 1783, November 21 : the first free hot air balloon flies in the air with human passengers. Pilots were de Rozier and the Marquis François d'Arlandes and flight lasted 25 minutes.
  • 1783, December 1 : the first free gas balloon flies in the air with human passengers. Jacques Charles and Nicolas-Louis Robert were the pilots of this flight and they flew for 2 hours and 5 minutes.
  • 1784, March 2 : Jean-Pierre Blanchard makes his first flight in a hydrogen balloon.
  • 1784 : Blanchard uses a hand-powered propeller in a balloon, making this the first recorded use of propulsion on a flying machine.
  • 1785, January 7 : Blanchard and s John Jeffries make the first flight across the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon.
  • 1785, June 15 : the first aeronautical deaths happen. Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Jules Romain die when their balloon crashes when they attempt to cross the English Channel.
  • 1793 : Balloon was used for military purposes during the siege of Mainz, Germany.
  • 1793, 9 January : Jean-Pierre Blanchard makes the first balloon ascent in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1793 : French start making preparations for introduction of balloons in their military.
  • 1794, April 2 : French establish Company of Aeronauts: the first airship company in the French Army and the world's first air force.
  • 1794, June 26 : The first balloon in the history was used during the battle and helped the victory (balloon l'Entreprenant during the Battle of Fleurus).
  • 1802, 5 July : André-Jacques Garnerin and Edward Hawke Locker make a 27.4km flight in 15 minutes in a balloon.
  • 1803, 18 July : Etienne Gaspar Robertson and his copilot Lhoest launch balloon and ascend to the height of 7,300m.
  • 1809 : Jacob Degen makes a hydrogen-filled balloon ornitopter.
  • 1819, 6 July : Sophie Blanchard becomes the first woman to die in a aviation accident when fireworks, that she was launching from here balloon, ignite the gas in the balloon.
  • 1824 : Michael Faraday makes a rubber balloon: ancestor of today’s toy balloons.
  • 1861 : Balloons were used for observation during the American Civil War.
  • 1870 : Balloons were used to carry letters and passengers out of besieged Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
  • 1897, 11 June : Salomon Andrée, N. Strindberg, and K. Fraenkel attempt an expedition to the North Pole in a balloon but fail.
  • 1901, 31 July : German meteorologists Berson and Süring climb to 10,800min a free balloon.
  • 2012, October 14 : Felix Baumgartner sets an altitude record of 39.045km in a gas balloon breaking a record of 34.7 kilometers made by Malcolm Ross and Victor Prather on May 4, 1961.
Picture Of First Public Demonstration Of A Balloon By Montogolfier
Picture Of Balloons Escaped From The Siege Of Paris 1870–1871
Picture Of Two Balloons
Picture Of Green Hot Air Balloon