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Green's 'Royal Vauxhall' balloon, c 1836.

Green's 'Royal Vauxhall' balloon, c 1836.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm


Aquatint. The 'Royal Vauxhall' (later known as the 'Nasau' balloon) was the largest balloon of its time, standing 80 feet (244 m) high with a capacity of 70,000 cubic feet. It was powered by coal-gas and equipped with a huge winch-controlled guide rope to act as a height regulator - the first time such a device had been used. The English aeronaut Charles Green (1785-1870) used this balloon for his most famous ascent on 7 November 1836, when he flew from London to Nasau in Germany. It was on this voyage, along with pasengers Robert Holland MP and Thomas Monck Mason, that Green succesfully completed the world's longest flight, covering an estimated 480 miles (770 km) in 18 hours.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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