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Technical description of the Montgolfière from 1786
Representation of a manned ascent in a Montgolfière. The starting point was the garden of the Réveillon paper mill in Paris on October 19, 1783
1978 postage stamp

Montgolfière is the name of the first hot air balloon , named after the French inventors Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier . In German, the words "Luftball" and "Freiballon" were coined for this.

The first Montgolfière was a ball-like sack made of linen with a diameter of 12 m. The inside was lined with a thin layer of paper and a net of string that spanned the entire cover kept it in shape. On June 4, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers presented this structure to the amazed public in their hometown of Annonay . According to the knowledge of the time, the Montgolfier brothers thought that the smoke made the balloon float. Bales of straw and wool were burned and the smoke, as planned, filled the balloon sack that rose into the air. After the tethers were cut, the balloon rose to almost 2,000 m and floated about 2 km before sinking to the ground.

The customer of " aerostatic machines" quickly spread throughout France. After the equally successful rise of the first gas balloon (the "Globe" by Jacques Alexandre Charles ) it was only a matter of time before the first passenger trip took place. On September 19, 1783 started from the Palace of Versailles , in front of King Louis XVI. and Queen Marie Antoinette , a Montgolfière with three passengers: a mutton, a rooster and a duck. The trip lasted twelve minutes and proved that air travel is possible to survive. On October 19, 1783, a manned and tethered ascent took place in a further attempt. On November 21, 1783, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and the guard officer François d'Arlandes started the first free balloon flight in human history in the garden of La Muette Castle near Paris .

See also


  • Helmut Braun: The rise and fall of airship travel - an economic historical analysis. eurotrans-Verlag, Regensburg 2007, ISBN 3936400229 , p. 70 ff.

Web links

Wiktionary: montgolfière  - explanations of meanings, word origins , synonyms, translations
Commons : Montgolfière  - album with pictures, videos and audio files