Hot Air Balloon
After the initial attempts with self built wings, the hot air balloon was the first real aircraft with which manned flights were possible. The effects of hot air had already been discovered by a few in the past. In 1513 Leonardo da Vinci constructed figures of saints made out of fabric and paper and let them ascend filled with hot air on the occasion of the coronation of Pope Leo X. In 1782 Tiberius Cavallo used air bladders and paper cylinders for his experiments with hot air. The first balloon however, was flown by the Montgolfier brothers. On 4th June 1783 they were able to publicly present their balloon with a covering made of paper and fabric. Shortly after a manned flight took place. Pilātre de Rozier ascended with a balloon made by the Montgolfier brothers on 15th October and then again on 21st November with the first passenger.
One of the last big events in balloon rides took place in 2002. After a total of six attempts, the multi-millionaire Steve Fossett managed to fly around the world on his own in a balloon. The start and finish locations were in Australia.
A hot air balloon consists of a covering filled with air which has an opening at the bottom. Nowadays, a gas burner is usually positioned below the opening with which the air is heated. The balloon is able to ascend due to the fact that the heated air has a lower density than the air outside the balloon. It goes without saying that the volume of the balloon also plays a very important role: the bigger the balloon the stronger the buoyant force.