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Balloon fight started in 1783. Two men, the Montgolfier brothers, built a balloon which used straw to provide hot air. Their system was very dangerousbecause they burned the straw in the balloon.
They made a test flight that, covered 3 kilometers in 8 minutes. There were a sheep, a duck, and a cook on board. The animals were the first creatures thatflew in a balloon.
The first human beings to fly in a balloon were Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes, also in 1783, in France. Their balloon caught fire and they had to put out the fire withwater that they carried on board exactly for such a situation.
Between 1870 and 1871, during the Franco-Prussian war, the only contact with the outside world were the 66 balloons which carriedpeople out of Paris.
In the beginning of the 20 century, ballooning became a sport and many competitions were organized in Europe. In 1995, during the Gordon-Bennett Balloon Race, which took place inGermany, pilots Alan Fraenckel and John Jervis were killed. A gunship shot them over Belarus. Several other pilots who landed in Belarus went to prison. Because of local military disagreement,international aviation authorities banned all competitions flying over Belarus.
One of the world’s largest ballooning events is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is held in the United Statesin the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event, which started in 1972 with 13 balloons, has become the most photographed sports event in the world and now hosts over 1,000 balloons from 28 nationsevery year.
1. How much do you know about ballooning? Answer true or false.
1 People used to carry water in balloons because the trips were long.
2 Pilâtre Montgolfier was the first man to fly aballoon.
3 Balloons were the only contact between Paris and the rest of the world between 1870 and 1871.
4 Belarus is the center of ballooning today.
5 Animals were used to test a balloon.
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