Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier, French physicist, mid to late 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Joseph Collyer after a painting by John Rusell showing a portrait of Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier (1754-1785) performing an experiment of 'inspiring and expiring inflammable air'. Rozier invented a hybrid design of hot-air balloon, now known as the 'Rozier' design, which features an inner hydrogen filled chamber surrounded by a larger hot-air balloon. The first succesful manned free flight ascent of an hot-air balloon was made by Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis D'Arlandes in a Montgolfier balloon on 21 November 1783 when they flew the hot-air balloon made by the French brothers Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) and Jacques-Etienne (1745-1799) Montgolfier.