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.
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
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.
: 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
: 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.
: 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.
: 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
: Michael Faraday makes a rubber balloon: ancestor of today’s toy balloons.
: Balloons were used for observation during the American Civil War.
: 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.