06 July 2015


BI-CENTENNIAL OF MAN'S FIRST FLIGHT.  Balloons were used in ma's first successful attempts of flying. In 1783, Joseph and Jacques Etienne, Montgolfier brothers, French paper manufacturers at Annonay, France, discovered that a fabric bag filled with hot air would rise. On June 5 of that year, they launched the first balloon flight in history, unmanned. The craft carried about a mile and a half away. At Versailles, they repeated the experiment, with a larger balloon on Sept. 19, 1783, sending a sheep, a rooster and a duck aloft as the first air passengers. On Nov 21, the first manned flight took place when Jean-Francois Laurent, marquis d' Arlandes, sailed over Paris, covering 5,1/2 miles in about 23 minutes.

The (100 P.) stamp shows the first Indian built hot-air balloon 'Udan Khatola' flying over Taj Mahal (Agra). The other stamp (200 P.) depicts the first Montgolfier Balloon lifting from the platform at Annonay in Paris. Both the stamps have been designed by Satish Gupta. First day cover designed by Pulak Gupta depicts the three hot air balloons presently with the Ballooning Club of India.

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