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A balloon is an aircraft, usually with a basket, filled with heated air or a lighter-than-air gas (helium, hydrogen, etc.) that can fly in the atmosphere. Mankind first tried to carry people and cargo with a kite, but the balloon was the first useful aircraft.

The idea for the balloon was born when Henry Cavendish, who discovered hydrogen in 1766, saw that this gas was lighter than air, and in 1767, Joseph Black suggested that a light vehicle could fly when filled with hydrogen. However, the first balloon flew not with hydrogen, but with hot air. The first flight was on June 4, 1783[2] by the French brothers Joseph Michel Montgolfier (1740-1810) and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier (1745-1799) in the village of Annonay, filling a linen bag with a diameter of 10.5 meters with hot air. The balloon rose 450 meters and covered a distance of 1.5 miles in 10 minutes.

The Montgolfier Brothers made their next flight to Paris on September 19, 1783, in front of a crowd including Benjamin Franklin. On the 6-mile flight, they put a rooster, a duck and a sheep in the basket of the balloon.

On November 21, 1793, the French physicist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (1756-1783) and a friend were also the first pilots to use a balloon.

French Physicist Jacques Charles noticed that hot air partially creates a buoyant effect and loses this property as it cools. The fire lit in the basket was warming the air for a while. However, hydrogen gas was lighter and its buoyancy was permanent. On August 27, 1783, Jacques Cesar Charles made and flew the first hydrogen balloon.

French physicists Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774-1862) and Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778-1850) climbed to an altitude of 6.5 km in 1804, tested the composition of the air at this altitude and studied the nature of the earth's magnetic field. This was the first flight for scientific purposes.

In 1902, French Meteorologist Leon Philippe Teisserenc de Bort (1855-1913) flew unmanned balloons with measuring instruments for heights where people could not go. With this method, he determined that the temperature of the atmosphere decreased regularly up to 11 km altitude and determined that the temperature remained constant at higher altitudes.

In 1931, Swiss physicist Auguste Piccard (1884-1962) had a covered wagon built and was able to go up to 16 km with a balloon to study the ionosphere and cosmic rays.

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