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Engraving of Pilatre de Rozier, French aviator

Engraving of Pilatre de Rozier, French aviator

H418/0174

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pilatre de Rozier. Engraving of Jean Pilatre de Rozier (1754-1785), the French physician who was the first person to fly and the first to die in an aviation accident. Rozier made a tethered ascent in a balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers on 15 October 1783. Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes piloted a Montgolfier balloon on the first manned aerial voyage on 21 November 1783. Taking off from Paris, France, the flight lasted about 25 minutes and covered 9 kilometres. Rozier devised a balloon with two envelopes, the upper containing hydrogen gas and the lower air heated by a brazier. Whilst attempting to cross the English Channel on 15 June 1785, the balloon caught fire and crashed.

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