Contribute Now
NOVA | Ben Franklin’s Balloons | Science & Technology | WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • Click to make/update a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list

NOVA | Ben Franklin’s Balloons

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

Preview Experts recreate the French’s daring first manned flights, which Franklin had chronicled.

Watch Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 9pm on WMHT TV.

The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today’s hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th-century tools and materials. NOVA evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.

Phylogenetic trees can tell us where medical problems come from, and how to fight them.

PBS Nature News

Part 2 | Full Episode

They’re back! Those remote-controlled robotic cameras return to infiltrate the world of dolphins around the globe and capture behavior that has never been filmed...

Dolphins Beach Themselves to Catch Fish

In South Carolina, a pod of bottlenose dolphins has taken teamwork to a whole new level. As a group, they corral entire shoals of fish onto the shore and then devour...

NOVA scienceNOW News

Five Reasons to Eat Insects

Save room for bugs! They're the future of green cuisine.