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Balloons and Airships




BALLOONS (1700-1900)

BALLOONS (1900-1990)

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AIRSHIPS (1784-1900)

AIRSHIPS (1900-1990)


At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:
5.1 State what the first serious thoughts about flight were directed toward.
5.2 Explain why the printing press was important to flight.
5.3 Know who is credited with inventing the hot­air balloon.

The first serious thoughts about flight were directed toward lighter­than-air flight. One of the most important inventions that led to flight was the printing press. This invention brought the price of books down and made possible the wide distribution of knowledge. For the first time, scientists throughout Europe could benefit from the work done by others, and scientific knowledge began to accumulate. For example, the man credited with inventing the hot-air balloon, Father Laurenco de Gusmao, made some small models and demonstrated one of them for the King of Portugal in 1709. However, the main contribution to flight was that the records of this demonstration were recorded and widely read throughout Europe.


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Updated: 12 March, 2004