Man takes to the air in free flight today in 1783.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    On the 21st November 1783 Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes made the first free flight. It was in a hot air balloon and lasted 25 mins. They crossed the Seine, after taking off from Paris’ Bois de Boulogne and floated about 5 miles. Louis XVI was king and he gave the pair the blessing they needed to try the audacious venture. Watching that day was an American, called Benjamin Franklin. He was one of many that could foresee how useful such an experiment it had been.
    Two years later the pair died when their balloon exploded while trying to cross the Channel. The hydrogen had been ignited by the fire fueling the hot air.
    Let that be a lesson: no one invades England!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Two years later the pair died when their balloon exploded while trying to cross the Channel. The hydrogen had been ignited by the fire fueling the hot air. Let that be a lesson: no one invades England!

    Invading England by balloon from the Continent is pretty impractical, since the prevailing winds tend to blow in the wrong direction – so de Rozier and d’Arlandes would have been better advised to do so by ship, in the same manner as Julius Caesar, Claudius, Hengist & Horsa, assorted Viking raiders, and William the Conqueror.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Two years later the pair died when their balloon exploded while trying to cross the Channel.

    Talk about getting your bubble burst.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Just watched Black Hawk Down again and I can’t imagine falling from the sky is much fun.

    @Gargantua:

    Two years later the pair died when their balloon exploded while trying to cross the Channel.

    Talk about getting your bubble burst.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here’s an intriguing balloon incident that happened in 1910.  The two survivors were lucky to have landed in the Orkney Islands because they were on course to be swept out into the North Atlantic.

    December 1910: Three Germans took off in a balloon from outside Munich, heading they thought for Switzerland. Once aloft the weather changed, cloud built up, the wind veered and by nightfall they were completely lost. In the morning hearing the sound of the sea they descended for a look. Unfortunately their basket bounced off the top of a wave then shot upwards. When they had recovered their wits Herren Distler and Joerdens realised that their companion Herr Metzger had been thrown out of the basket. He was never seen again. As the second night approached the two survivors saw some lights and started another descent. Once again the basket hit the sea before being dragged ashore by the partially deflated balloon where they demolished a wall. They found themselves on the outskirts of Kirkwall.    http://www.crashsiteorkney.com/page11.htm


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I remember reading about a balloonist in the 80’s who was trying to circumnavigate the world.

    He crossed into soviet airspace over Romania accidentally and was shot down.

    But that wasn’t the best part lol… the pilots who shot him down recieved medals for “bravery in the face of extreme danger”

    L O L !


  • Customizer

    @Gargantua:

    I remember reading about a balloonist in the 80’s who was trying to circumnavigate the world.

    He crossed into soviet airspace over Romania accidentally and was shot down.

    But that wasn’t the best part lol… the pilots who shot him down recieved medals for “bravery in the face of extreme danger”

    L O L !

    Well Garg, those pilots WERE flying Soviet aircraft. Pretty brave if you ask me.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Very nice Toblerone. Liked that observation.



  • @toblerone77:

    @Gargantua:

    I remember reading about a balloonist in the 80’s who was trying to circumnavigate the world.

    He crossed into soviet airspace over Romania accidentally and was shot down.

    But that wasn’t the best part lol… the pilots who shot him down recieved medals for “bravery in the face of extreme danger”

    L O L !

    Another case where a balloon was mistaken as an “UFO”. Lol

    Well Garg, those pilots WERE flying Soviet aircraft. Pretty brave if you ask me.


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