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.
Picture Of First Public Demonstration Of A Balloon By Montogolfier
  • 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.
  • 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 Balloons Escaped From The Siege Of Paris 1870–1871
Picture Of Green Hot Air Balloon
Picture Of Two Balloons