1782-1783-Joseph Montgolfierand his brother, Jacques, started experimenting with the hot-air balloon idea. After months of experimenting, the two brothers were able to send a sheep, a duck, and a rooster in a free-flight hot-air balloon. The balloon carried the animals 2 miles in 8 minutes. Then, on November 21, 1783, Pilatre De Rozier and Marquis D' Arlandes rode in a Montgolfier Balloon. The straw used to heat the balloon caught on fire during the trip, but Rozier and Arlandes doused the flames with water they carriedv on board for just such an emergency. That trip lasted 20 minutes and covered 5 miles. A week and a half after that, Professor Jacques Charles and Noel Robert launched a gas balloon from the Tuileries Garden in Paris which touched down 27 miles away.
1785-Pilatre De Rozier was killed over the English Channel while using a hybrid combination of a hydrogen balloon and a hot-air balloom tied in tandem. The balloon exploded a half-hour after take-off. The concept was later improved, and many of the recent long-distance balloon flights have been traveled with a Rozier Balloon using burners to warm non-flammable helium at flight.
The Development Of Gas Ballooning-The hot-air balloon of the Montgolfier brothers was called a Montgolfier. The gas balloon was called a Charliere, after Professor Jacques Charles, it's developer and first pilot. Of the two kinds of balloons(the hot-air balloon and the gas balloon), the gas balloon was easier to transport and work than the hot-air variety and could remain in the sky for longer periods of time. After a few spectacular ascensions, the hot-air balloon was practically abandoned throughout the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century while the popular gas balloon was flown for entertainment and recreation and used in welfare and scientific research.
1793-1864-The first manned balloon flight in North America was made by J.P.F. Blanchard on January 9, 1783. It was several decades later on July 1, 1859 that famed American balloonist John Wise made the first airmail flight from St. Louis to New York. During the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies made extensive use of balloons as tethered observation posts.
1870-1871-Between 1870 and 1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, 66 balloons carried more than 160 people out of Paris, France and provided the only contact with the outside world. Less than 30 years later, 1n 1898, the Aero Club De France was founded to promote ballooning. In 1905, the French Club and those of eight other nations formed the Federation Aeronautique Internationate, which today has 93 member countries. The Federation establishes all aviation record regulations and validates world records for everything from balloons to airplanes, hand-gliders to parachutes.
1906-In 1906, the first Gordon Bennett Balloon Race, now the world's most prestigious balloon race, was held in Paris and was won by American Frank Lahm. The Gordon Bennett Balloon Race was also held in Albuquerque in1994. In the 1995 Gordon Bennett Balloon Race, in Germany, pilots Alan Fraenckel and John Jervis were killed when a gunship shot them down with air-to air missles over the former Soviet Republic of Belarus. Belarus officials had given permission for the flights, but the military claimed ignorance. Several other pilots were taken into custody by authorities when they landed in Belarus, but were then released. International aviation authorities have now banned competition balloon flying over Belarus.
Modern Hot-Air Ballooning
1960-While ballooning began more than two centuries ago, hot-air ballooning as we know it today is less than 50 years old. In the 1950's, former aviator Ed Tost began experimenting with lighter-than-air craft. He developed the envelope and burner system which evolved into the modern hot-air balloon, with a rip-top nylon envelope and propane fuel system. Now known as the "Father of Modern Hot-Air Ballooning," Yost made his first flight October 10, 1960, at Bruning, Neb. Since then, along with the development of balloon materials and balloon manufacturing, hot-air ballooning has evolved into the colorful sport it is today, each year drawing millions of people to balloon festivals around the world.
1972-Present-The largest, most colorful, and most famous of all such eventsis the annual Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, in New Mexico. The Fiesta had its beginnings in 1972, when a balloonist from Albuquerque named Sid Cutter held a small raly with 12 of his friends and the country's first sport hot-air balloons. The Feista's 25th anniversary was celebrated in 1996 at a new field in Albuquerque's north valley. In 1997, a record crowd of 1.5 million was treated to the spectacle of a record mass ascension of 850 balloons.
1978-Present-It was at the Albuquerque Fiesta in 1978 that the red, white, and blue RE/MAX Hot-Air Balloon made its debut. One of hundreds of corporate balloons used for name recognition of their sponsoring companies, the RE/MAX Balloon was selected as the new logo of RE/MAX International, the real estate franchise network that is the title sponsor of the Team RE/MAX global flight mission. The number of RE/MAX Balloons has grown to nearly 90, comprising the largest corporate ballon fleet in the world. RE/MAX co-founder and chairman of the board Dave Liniger is one of the three Team RE/MAX pilots.