A flying sheep, dog and rooster
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Another cache at the popular Mushroom farm park in Sandton.This one is a quick roadside nano, and can also be accessed from outside the park. Unfortunately the hot air balloon is not operational anymore, but the balloon launchpad is still there.
A hot air balloon was the first form of any manned flight. The Montgolfier brothers of France were paper makers who discovered balloons while looking for additional applications for their paper products. The first balloon they built was constructed of light weight fabric and paper. They noticed that when held over an open flame, it would rise up and float. The Montgolfier’s were so intrigued by this that they built larger ones big enough to carry passengers. Since no man has ever flown before, the brothers did not want to fly in it at first for fear of injury. They still needed someone to test the balloon to see if it was safe to fly. As their hot air balloon was inflated and ready to fly, they boarded their first passengers, a rooster, a sheep and a dog! The balloon lifted off, flew for a short time and safely returned to the earth. The brothers were now so eager to float off in their invention. The first flight was planned to depart from Bois de Boulogne in France in the year 1783. As they fed the balloon's fire with straw and sheep’s’ wool, the Montgolfier brothers rose above the French country side and achieved the first ever manned flight to a crowd of 400,000 people, almost the entire population of Paris at that time. After the flight they celebrated with a champagne toast. Today we continue this tradition after each flight. Since the 1700’s, hot air ballooning has evolved greatly. We now use propane in an accurately controlled manner to achieve perfect altitude control. In 1987 Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air balloon, rather than a helium/gas filled balloon. They flew a distance of 2,900 miles in a record breaking time of 33 hours. At the time, the envelope they used was the largest ever flown, at 2.3 million cubic feet of capacity. A year later, Per Lindstand set yet another record, this time for highest solo flight ever recorded in a hot air balloon - 65,000 feet! The great team of Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand paired up again in 1991 and became the first to cross the Pacific in a hot air balloon. They travelled 6,700 miles in 47 hours, from Japan to Canada breaking the world distance record, travelling at speeds of up to 245 mph.
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