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Jean Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809), French balloonist and inventor. Blanchard explored the limits and possibilities of aerial travel by balloon and experimented with parachutes and methods of propulsion. In 1784 he made the first ascent in a hydrogen balloon, months after the first-ever manned flight. The next year Blanchard (with Jeffries) made the first crossing of the English Channel from Dover to Calais. In 1793, he conducted the first balloon flight in the Americas. 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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