Death of Pilatre de Rozier

Death of Pilatre de Rozier

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The crash of the new hybrid balloon in which Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and Pierre Romain were both killed. They had just departed Boulogne-sur-Mer with the intention of crossing the English Channel when eyewitnesses reported seeing a blue flame before the balloon collapsed and fell to the ground. This balloon, invented by Rozier, and on its first flight, was a hybrid of a hot-air and a gas balloon. Gas balloons are able to fly for a long time, and hot air balloons are easily able to change altitude, giving the aeronaut greater control of buoyancy. However, Rozier used hydrogen gas which is inherently dangerous. In recent years new developments have made the Rozier-type balloon more feasible with helium gas and propane burners. The first circumnavigation of the Earth by balloon was made with a hybrid in 15 days in 2003.De Rozier and Romain were the first aviation fatalities

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Keywords: aeronautics, aviation, balloon, balloonist, death, english channel, first aviation fatality, france, french, gas balloon, helium, hot-air, hybrid balloon, hydrogen, inventor, montgolfier, pierre roman, pilã¢tre de rozier, pioneer, propane, roziere

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