A fine history of the pioneers of ballooning, taking us through the science, adventure, and lives of the characters involved. Factual and entertaining, it chronicles a remarkable period in aeronautical history.
In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers made history with the first hot-air balloon flight, and so began the era of flight and man's love affair with the skies. In this book, LTC Rolt (the pioneer of industrial history) takes us on a journey through the history of ballooning. sprinkled with lively extracts from journals, and drawing from contemporary accounts, The Balloonists follows the exploits of these early pioneers of flight: Rozier, Lunardi, Blanchard and Samuel King, who constructed possibly the largest balloon ever made. This complete history of balloons and the intrepid men and women who flew in them recounts stories of the first flights to 1903, when the Wright Brothers heavier-than-air flight at Kittyhawk changed the history of aviation forever. This book will delight everyone who has enjoyed watching balloons float tranquilly through the skies on a summer's evening. L T C Rolt was one of the first narrative historians, an industrial pioneer and preservationist. During his life he was fundamental in establishing and promoting canals, waterways and railways. He was one of the first people in modern Britain to draw attention to the value of our canals as a means of transport and a source of pleasure. As well as his interest in canals he also turned his attention to neglected railways and set up the first organisation to save and run a railway with a mainly volunteer workforce.