The race to be the first to cross the Irish Sea by hot air balloon would turn out to be a family affair. After James Sadler’s high-profile attempt failed in October 1812, the baton was taken up by his 20-year-old aeronaut son, Windham Sadler, in…

The invention of hot air balloon travel in the 1780s was an international sensation, and intrepid individual aeronauts quickly took on the challenge of trying to complete increasingly daring journeys. However, efforts to cross the Irish Sea for the…

From the first manned hot air balloon flight in Paris in November 1783, balloons exerted a powerful force on the public imagination. Early observers of hot air balloons were not sure exactly what they were for, but ballooning’s capacity for setting…