Thanks to a stunt by the Montgolfier brothers, people finally flew. Well, actually a few animals left the ground but people weren’t far behind.
The balloon wasn’t especially practical, since it couldn’t be guided, but led the way for future innovations plus allowed a new perspective on the world. Despite that it was more of a novelty, the French did use hot air balloons in various wars and skirmishes.
King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette witnessed the first passenger balloon flight that left from the Palace of Versailles on Sept. 19, 1782. The basket carried a sheep, duck, and rooster but no people. The ride lasted eight minutes and landed about 3km away after running out of fuel.