HISTORY I

THE PRE-INCAS 100BC?


Some say there is a valid claim that the first person to fly a hot air balloon may have been an ancient Inca above the plains of Nazca about 100BC based on the design of a pottery artefact in Lima and the mysterious markings of the Nazca plain. A replica balloon "Condor 1" based on this design and built using only available materials successfully flew over Nazca in 1975.

THE MEDIEVAL CHINESE

In the middle ages, the Chinese celebrated festivals with small rice paper hot air balloons however there is no record that anyone built anything large enough to lift a man or even considered the possibility although man carrying kites were known .

     1670 EUROPE

Francisco de Lana proposed an airship with copper spheres containing a vacuum.  While theoretically correct there is no material then or now that is strong enough to resist external atmospheric pressure yet light enough to be lifted by the resulting difference in density. So De Lana had a good idea, but it does not work. What was need was a gas to balance the external atmospheric pressure but lighter than air.

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