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1785 Balloon pioneer


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In 1785 Jean-Pierre Blanchard made one of the first balloon flights in Britain, just two years after the first flight in the history of world aviation. He flew a hot air balloon from Chelsea over 30 miles and landed on the Langdon Hills, near Laindon, shown on the 1576 map. He was tracked all the way by a fast horse-drawn carriage, which took him and his balloon back to London when he landed. Earlier in the year he had made the first flight across the Channel to France.

Discussion opportunity: How did people view air travel at that time? Did people see it as a realistic way of getting about? How did air travel develop?

Write about the balloon landing from the point of view of a local child.

29th Sep 2008

Geography, History, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

Basildon, local history, air travel, transport history

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