Quick Facts

Montgolfier Balloon

Early Flight

Located in the Flight Innovation Center, Main Gallery

Did You Know?

  • French brothers Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (1740-1810) and Jacques- tienne Montgolfier (1745-1799) were the inventors of the first practical hot air balloon-the Montgolfier balloon.
  • The first living passengers on the Montgolfier balloon were a duck, a rooster, and a sheep. They took to the skies on September 19, 1783 and landed safely after eight minutes.
  • The first free (nontethered) human flight took place on November 21, 1783 by science teacher Jean-Fran ois Pil tre de Rozier and Fran ois Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes. The flight began from the grounds of the Ch teau de la Muette in the western outskirts of Paris. They flew aloft about 3,000 feet above Paris for a distance of about 5.6 miles. After 25 minutes, the balloon landed outside the city ramparts on the Butte-aux-Cailles.