'The First aerial Voyage', 21 November 1783.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by De Lannay after a drawing by de Lorimier showing the first manned free flight ascent of a hot-air balloon on 21 November 1783. This balloon, designed by the French brothers Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) and Jacques-Etienne (1745-1799) Montgolfier, was approximately 75 feet high and 49 feet in diameter with a capacity of 79,000 cubic feet. It was flown by the scientist Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier who was accompanied by Francois Laurent, the Marquis d'Arlandes (1742-1809). After taking off from the gardens of the Chateau La Muette in the Bois de Boulogne, France, the balloon remained airborne for 25 minutes before landing safely at the Butte-aux-Cailles, about five and a half miles (8.5 km) away. Dimensions: 267mm x 175mm.