|The Montgolfiére Balloon
Manufactured by scientists and inventors Joseph
and Etienne Montgolfier, this magnificent balloon made
its first public
appearance on June 5, 1783. Made of
cloth, the balloon envelope was lined with paper,
coated with alum as fireproofing,
and held together by about
Montgolfier, born on Friday, August 26, 1740
Montgolfier born on January 6, 1745 were
brothers in a family of sixteen children. Their
Pierre Montgolfier was a paper manufacturer,
owner of a factory at Viladon-les-Annonay, south
of Lyon, France.
This Month in Balloon History
In November 1971 Sid Cutter, together with eight other
ballooning enthusiasts founded the Albuquerque Aerostat
Ascension Association, more commonly recognized known
in ballooning circles as the Quad-A (AAAA). Following
are more November entries from our balloon history
On Friday, November 4, 1927 Captain Hawthorne C.
Gray, one of the United States Air Corps' leading balloonists
following WWI, died in the air while conducting an
experimental high-altitude research flight near Sparta,
Tennessee. His last logbook entry indicated he was
at 40,000 feet, experiencing a lack of oxygen.
The second annual meeting
of the Balloon Federation of America was held on Saturday,
November 8, 1969 at the Sheraton O'Hare Hotel after
the National Balloon Rally in Libertyville, Illinois,
with a total of 18 members in attendance.
Tuesday, November 10, 1981 marked the beginning of
the first successful transpacific balloon flight. The
American team of Rocky Aoki, Ben Abruzzo, Ron Clark,
and Larry Newman lifted off from Nagashima, Japan and
began a perilous 4 day flight across the Pacific in
the Double Eagle V.
On Monday, November 11, 1935 Army Captains Albert
W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson set a new world altitude
record in Explorer II, a hydrogen-filled gas balloon
equipped with a round metal gondola. Ascending from
the Stratobowl near Rapid City, they reached 72,395
feet (nearly 14 miles) before beginning their descent
over an abandoned airfield near White Lake, South Dakota.
The project, a collaborative effort between the U.S.
Army and National Geographic, was funded by the National
Geographic Society. Stevens, chief of the Army Air
Corps photography lab at the time, is also credited
with taking the first photograph showing earth's curvature
on this date.
On Saturday, November 12, 1910 the first movie stunt
ever performed involved a man falling into the Hudson
River from a burning balloon.
On Monday, November 20, 1933 Auguste
Piccard's twin brother Jean Piccard, piloted the
Progress stratosphere balloon to a record height
of 61,000 feet (official altitude - 18,665 meters).
Ascending from Akron, Ohio, Piccard conducted over
10 scientific experiments during the flight, landing
the balloon eight hours later near Bridgeton, New
On Saturday, November 21, 1981, Ben Abruzzo with Larry
Newman and Ron Clark of the USA and Rocky Aoki of Japan
as crew became the first to cross the Pacific Ocean
in a balloon. They launched in the Double Eagle V from
Nagashim, Japan on November 10 and landed in Covelo,
California in 84:31 hours, also setting a new world
flight duration record.
On Friday, November 21, 1783, Jean-Francois Pilâtre
de Rozier and Francois Laurent, the Marquis d'Arlandes,
make the first free-flight ascent in a balloon to over
500 feet. Over 100,000 spectators showed up for the
event. Among them was the United States Ambassador
to France and American Inventor, Benjamin Franklin.
Piloted by de Rozier, the Montgolfier balloon ascended
approximately 3,000 feet from the hillside of the Chateau
de la Muette in Paris, France before losing altitude
and landing softly in a meadow roughly 8 kilometers,
or five and a half miles, away. The flight lasted around
23 minutes. November 21 has been recognized by balloonists
as Montgolfier Day ever since.