The Montgolfière Brothers Balloon — first ascending flight by man
This model of the balloon (globe aérostatique) constructed by Joseph Michael and JacquesÉtienne Montgolfière is wonderfully large enough so details can be easily seen. The eloborate decorations honoring the sponsors as well as France’s king are nearly unheard of today. The original balloon had a volumous 60,000 cubic foot (1700 cubic meter) envelope comprised of taffeta fabric coated with a veneer of alum for fireproofing — which stood 75 feet (22.7m) in height.
This was state-of-the-art aviation in the late 1700s (first flights in 1983) and this model is suspended near the entry of Seattle’s Museum of Flight.