1798: Pierre Testu-Brissy horseback balloonist

Pierre Testu-Brissy 1Pierre Testu-Brissy (1770? – 1829) was a pioneering French balloonist who achieved fame for making many flights astride animals, particularly horses.

Testu-Brissy made his first balloon ascent in 1785, and the first night ascent on June 18, 1786, in a hydrogen balloon. He made the world’s first electrical observations on June 18, 1786, as he ascended into thunderclouds, and said that he drew remarkable discharges from the clouds by means of an iron rod, carried in the car.

“Testu-Brissy’s first solo ascent was on September 18, 1791 from Paris. He subsequently undertook more than 50 flights in his lifetime, including the first ascent on horseback on October 16, 1798 from Bellevue Park in Paris. He and his horse made more than fifty of these documented flights.

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