The very first English ‘magnificent man in his flying machine’ – a pastry chef and Oxfordshire hero

When ballooning first began in Europe in 1783 with the first flight by Pilatre de Rozier over Paris, the race was on between the European powers to emulate the feat. No-one wanted to be left behind in the first aviation race – the race that changed the world forever.

Ian Woodmansey, Pilot for the Altitude Balloon Company in the UK, investigates.

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