“Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon ?
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon ?
We could float among the stars together, you and I,
For we can fly we can fly”
Actually the first actual demonstration of a hot air balloon wouldn’t have had me exactly chomping at the bit to jump aboard – if around to have been asked I would most definitely have said no.
According to information I stumbled across yesterday, the first public demonstrated flight of a hot air balloon took place on this date in 1783, in Annonay, France.
The balloon rose to a height of of about a kilometre, and traversed a distance of two kilometres. What is really scary is that it was made of cloth, lined with paper and the several segments joined to make up the balloon were held together by 1,000’s of buttons – hardly the safest aircraft ever !
The balloon was destroyed on landing by local peasants who were alarmed by the highly unusual occurrence of it flying over and landing in their rural fields.
And so to a much later design, National Geographic’s effort. The team built a house inspired by the Pixar movie Up! that can really fly. Using 300 helium-filled weather balloons, a team of scientists, engineers, two balloon pilots and dozens of volunteers, they managed to get the small house 10,000 feet into the air.
Of course it was not a real house, but a custom-built light weight one but still – if I were to have been asked “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon ?” – the answer this time would have been a resounding yes.