Hot Air Balloon Facts

Hot Air Balloon Facts
The hot air balloon was the first flying machine capable of carrying humans. Although balloons have existed for thousands of years in some form, the first untethered flight with humans took place in 1783. That first flight lasted 20 minutes. A hot air balloon is designed with a burner that creates heat, which travels up into the balloon (called an envelope), and causes the balloon to be buoyant. The hot air inside the balloon has lower density than the air outside, allowing it to rise and float in the air. Usually there is a vent at the top of the balloon that allows the pilot control over ascent and descent. People stand in a basket that is under the balloon during flight.
Interesting Hot Air Balloon Facts:
Hot air balloons were invented in the 1700s in France but unmanned balloons had existed in China in the Three Kingdoms period of 220-280AD.
Prior to the first human flight in a hot air balloon in 1783, a flight took place with animal passengers including a sheep, duck, and a rooster. Their flight lasted about 8 minutes.
Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d'Arlandes were the first pilots to fly a hot air balloon, and the first people to fly in a man-made machine.
Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier was the first person to die in a crash, only two years after he took the first successful flight in human history. His balloon exploded while attempting to cross the English Channel.
Most balloons (envelopes) are made from nylon. The melting point of this material is approximately 230 degrees Celsius. The temperature inside the balloon is usually below 120 degrees Celsius.
Hot air balloons can't be used in the rain because the rain hitting the balloon's material would boil from the heat and destroy the fabric.
The world record for height reached in a hot air balloon is 68,900 feet.
Champagne became tradition after a flight as a way to make farmers happy after a hot air balloon landed in their fields destroying their crops. The champagne made them happy and smoothed tensions between the French aristocracy and peasants.
There was once a duel between two Frenchmen in Paris in hot air balloons. They were both in love with the same woman and in 1808 they took to the skies in hot air balloons to fight it out. Both tried to shoot each other's balloons down. One succeeded and the other plunged to his death.
During the French Revolution, and the American Civil War, hot air balloons were used for spying on the enemy.
Richard Branson took the longest hot air balloon flight on record leaving Japan and arriving in Northern Canada. His hot air balloon speed also set a record at 245 miles per hour.
Hot air balloons are used primarily for recreation today.
Some hot air balloons are designed to look like animals, various objects and even cartoon characters.
There are many hot air balloon festivals held around the world including those held in Turkey, New Mexico, Egypt and Tanzania.

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