The Hot Air Balloon was a significant step forward in the quest for flight.
The earliest known use of the balloon was during China’s three kingdoms period where hot air balloons with lanterns were used for military signaling.
The first recorded use of a hot air balloon carrying a passenger appeared in France in 1783. It was the first time in history that a craft had successfully carried a human being into the air for such a long period of time.
The balloon was used in military situations for many years in Europe as an observational device for mapping troop movements.
The hot air balloon led to the development of the thermal airship, or blimp, which is still in use today commercially. It also allowed early pioneers of flight to record observations about wind speeds and wind sheer, which helped them better design early airplanes.