Francesco Zambeccari, Italian balloonist

Francesco Zambeccari, Italian balloonist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Francesco Zambeccari (1752-1812), Italian balloonist and aeronaut. In 1783, after a naval career in both the Spanish and Russian navies, Zambeccari emigrated to England as a refugee where he learnt the art of balloon making. On November 4 1783 he flew a small unmanned balloon from London, the first balloon flight in the UK. He made his first ascent in March 1785. He made over 40 flights in his career, many of them resulting in injuries. He was also known as the 'Mad Count of Bologna'. Artwork from 'Aerostation - Aviation' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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