Following a successful attempt with animals (a sheep, duck and cock) at Versailles, the brothers Montgolfier organised the first human flight in a hot air balloon in November 1783, much against Louis XVI's wishes as he did not believe that men should fly. Not two weeks later, on 1 December, the physicist Jacques-Alexandre Charles (1746-1823) and the inventor Nicolas Robert (1758-1820) took to the air in their hydrogen balloon, watched by 400,000 Parisians. Their flight, lasting two hours and travelling twenty-five miles, proved the superiority of hydrogen and formed the model for most later balloons
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