Colorado Balloon Rides' History of Ballooning
Reaching New Heights 1783
The first hot air balloon was designed by the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne. The science of ballooning and sending humans aloft had begun.
The First Manned Flight 1783
On November 21, 1783, De Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes, flew untethered to 500 feet and traveled about five and a half miles in a 20-minute flight-the first
free flight made by man.
The Revival 1960
The first modern hot air balloon was designed and built in 1960 by Ed Yost. He made the first free flight of such an aircraft in Bruning, Nebraska on 22 October 1960.
First Pacific Crossing by Hot Air Balloon 1991
Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson become the first to traverse the Pacific by hot air balloon, flying from Japan to Arctic Canada in 46 hours. Reaching speeds in the jet stream of up to 245 mph in their Otsuka Flyer, they travel 6,700 miles, breaking the world distance record.
The Highest flight 2005
On November 26, 2005, Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot air balloon flight, reaching 69,852 feet.
The First Unmanned Flight 1783
The Montgolfier brothers' balloon, Aerostat Réveillon was flown with the first (non-human) living creatures in a basket attached to the balloon.
First Flight in North America 1793
On January 9, Jean-Pierre Blanchard makes a 45-minute flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Gloucester County, New Jersey. George Washington is present to see the balloon launch.
First Atlantic Crossing by Hot Air Balloon 1987
Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson fly a distance of 2,900 miles in 33 hours and set a new record for hot air ballooning. At the time, the balloon, with 2.3 million cubic feet of capacity, is the largest ever flown.
The Longest Ride 1999
On March 21, 1999 the Breitling Orbiter 3 touched down in Egypt, having circumnavigated the globe and set records for duration (19 days, 21 hours and 55 minutes) and distance (46,759 km).