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In the 21st century - the age of the budget airline - where quick and reliable air travel is available to a large segment of society, it seems hard to comprehend that it is less than 250 years since the first human took to the skies. Although the wing of the bird seemed like the most obvious natural mechanism to attempt replicate, it was actually contained hot air, as demonstrated by the Montgolfiers and their balloon, that gave birth to the era human aviation. Since the first manned balloon flight in 1783, developments have come thick and fast, the airship, the aeroplane, and finally the space shuttle. This reprint of a classic publication by John A. Haddock, from 1872, details an eventful balloon ascent made by the author. The following is an except from the preface: 'Within the past two or three years I have often been requested to re-publish my account of that celebrated trip, and have at last consented to do so, in order to afford my friends and the public an opportunity of perusing it, and to enable them to comprehend how a man apparently sensible as regards business affairs and every-day life, may sometimes do a foolish thing that will seriously affect his business prospects, and cause great and unnecessary distress to his friends. For now, as I look back upon the events I am about to relate, I can but regard my balloon voyage as almost impiously hazardous and foolish, and meriting censure rather than commendation.'