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While in Paris hot air balloons flew fueled with burnt straw, in Lviv a bunch of wise men created a device that made it easier to take a balloon to the air. Six months after the Parisians took their balloon to the air, on March 4, 1784, the hot air balloon was launched in Lviv using the automatic gas burner with liquid fuel by Ignatsiy Martynovych and Nepomuk Herman. The burner of Lviv inventors heated the air in the envelope as it became cooler, and kept the balloon in the sky for a long time until there was enough fuel.

In addition to a good burner, the material of the balloon itself was strengthened. The thin silk fabric of the envelope was soaked with a mixture of drying oil and wax.

That flight started in the Bielski’s garden in the presence of the local nobility. The whole city gathered to see how that hot air balloon would take off. The first balloon was launched without spectators. No one knew what could happen. When the envelope was filled with hot air, the balloon rose 100 meters in just a minute. When the burner ran out of fuel, the balloon slowly went down to the ground.

During the second launch, something went wrong, so the balloon went to the air and burned to the ground.

Despite the failure, hot air balloons still use a similar device to fly.

Since then, the traditions have lived on to this day. There is a “Galician Hot Air Ballooning Community” in Lviv. They help people get closer to the sky!


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