Or perhaps fancy of flight?
Measuring in at just over 6 feet tall, this is a replica of the 1783 hot air balloon built by Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier that was the first to ever carry a human aloft. We all played some part in its construction and subsequent launch, but really it was Elijah who did the lion’s share.
Each panel took at least a couple hours of constant hand cramping work in order to trace and fill in the design. And as there are eight gores that was quite the investment of time and energy. I suggested we just do a few…leave the other ones blank or embellish them with some simple stripes or polka dots or something. But no, this perfectionist boy of mine had to have everything just so. Not sure where he could possibly get that from (insert not so discreet throat clearing noise here).
We invited friends and neighbors over for the launch and afterwards toasted the Montgolfier brothers with sparkling cider. Those of us who worked on it weren’t as impressed with it’s flight as we were hoping, but we’ve been talking through some potential modifications, both to the structure and our inflating methods.
The kit was put out by the Smithsonian Institution in 1998, so I don’t know how readily available it is at this point. I found that Ben Franklin’s Balloons was the perfect documentary to go along with it.