Pilatre de Rozier, French balloonist

Pilatre de Rozier, French balloonist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier (1754-1785), French balloonist. Historical artwork of Rozier blowing hydrogen into a flame, causing it to ignite. Hydrogen, or 'inflammable air', had been recently discovered by Cavendish and would become one of the gases used in balloon ascents. Rozier is famous for being on the first manned hot air balloon flight on 21st November 1783 when he took to the air in a balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers. His final flight was on 15th June 1785, when he and Jules Romain crashed in their Royal Balloon near Boulogne, France. Both men were killed in the crash, which is considered the world's first aviation disaster. Engraving by Joseph Collyer after a painting by John Russell.

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