On November 21, 1783 the first free flight carrying a human occurred in Paris, France in a hot air balloon made of paper and silk made by the Montgolfier brothers. In 1960 Paul E. (Ed) Yost and 3 others formed Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and developed the modern hot air balloon and the propane gas burner which made sustained flight possible.  You can read a detailed article on the history of the hot air ballooning on the National Balloon Museum website.

We've illustrated the practice of modern hot air ballooning using photographs of some CLAS members and their balloons in operation here. This page goes back a ways; we've recently updated some of the content and photographs.

We're also happy to present the following highly readable and informative articles by CLAS member Jim Ellis: Launching, Flying, and Landing a Hot Air Balloon

Links and Resources

CLAS Members, please send your favorite ballooning sites and links to and we can update this page together!