As many good things in our lives, hot air balloons were invented by military, and for military purposes. Instead of lifting people in the sky, they were used for the same purposes that we use e-mail and messaging apps today: communication. But we shall not follow extraordinary evolution path which converted balloon into an app. Instead, we'll focus on ladies and gentlemen piloting balloons today: how did they come around?
It's a historic fact that first living creatures to leave the solid ground in a construction filled with heated air were a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. In 1783 Montgolfier brothers, who happened to arrange for this event, reasoned their choice with scientific logics: the duck is used to fly up high, therefore will serve a good indication of possible negative effects or aircraft itself. The rooster, that is not used to altitudes, had to serve as a control measure for the duck, as both are birds. Should rooster be harmed after landing, and duck would be intact, it would be obvious that hight has negative effects on ground-crawling creatures.
Perhaps the most interesting choice (and even more so reasoning behind it) was the sheep. Standing before King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette, brothers Montgolfier declared that sheep is best of animals to have... approximation to human psychology. And therefore, if it stays sane after the flight, so should any human being. Apparently the royals did not mind the comparison to sheep, since brothers are known to keep their heads in place, and open history of manned ballooning with their maiden voyage in the same year of 1783.
We have no intention to suggest that current balloonists evolved from interbreeding of first flying animals. Instead, we would like to believe that all balloonists possess characteristics of brothers Montgolfier: obvious bravery mixed with caution, scientific approach to things, and a romantic heart. If you have never met a person like that, it can easily be arranged via firstname.lastname@example.org.
One more characteristics of any balloon pilot is that they always have some story to share, yet not always have enough time for that. It's not that they dislike people. On the contrary! It's just that they are always in a search for new adventures, new places to fly, new people to meet, new things to discover. And obviously, flying balloon gets them into circumstances like few people experience in their lives. This part of blog shall be devoted to such stories.