More Gas Books

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The Flight of the Small World By Arnold Eiloart and Peter Elstob. (1959)  This book describes the dream of a few brave British citizens to fly across the Atlantic.  It is the story of the conception to completion of an effort to do something no other person had accomplished.  It is an interesting story of the single mindedness, creativity and a lot of problem solving the people involved faced to make their dream occur.  It is a good story.

The Long Lonely Leap - By Captain Joseph Kittinger Jr and Martin Caidin.  (1961)  This book tells the story of Joe Kittinger's flight to the edge of space in a balloon and his parachute jump back to earth.  This is a very cool story but this book is virtually impossible to find outside of a good library.
Wizard of the Winds - by Ward T. Van Orman and Robert Hull (1978) Details the adventures of Goodyear Pilot Ward Van Orman in all the major pre-WW II  balloon competitions.  It is perhaps the best existing American narrative of gas balloon racing.  This book is very difficult to find.

Aerospace Balloons - by Edwin Kirschner (1985) This is a great book that outlines balloon development from it's earliest period through the 20th century.  It discusses every type of balloon including gas, hot air, military, sport, high altitude and scientific ballooning.  It is a very interesting look at ballooning at all levels.

How to Build & Fly Hydrogen & Hot Air Balloons by John Wise (1984) This book is a short version of John Wise's classic book - A System of Aeronautics (1850).  It is a detailed discussion about building gas balloons, hot air balloons and parachutes.  The book uses simple techniques and common materials available today in any hardware or textile store. He describes a simple method for producing hydrogen. 

This book is still available in limited numbers for purchase from the author.  Mr. William Lanyard.  The book is very reasonably priced at $10 + $4 shipping ($14) .  It can be purchased via PayPal at or by check. at 

William Longyard
2913 Bradenton Dr.
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

With Brass and Gas - By Muson Baldwin (1967) This book is composed of actual newspaper articles written about ballooning in 19th century.  It is filled with colorful stories about the first aeronauts.
The Dangerous Sort - by Anthony Smith (1970)  This book details the further adventures (not all happy) of Jambo in England and elsewhere.  Many color photos.

Down One Diamond - By Michael Fairbanks (1979).  Mr.  Fairbanks shares historic tales and photos of gas (and a bit of hot air) ballooning with the Balloon Club of America -- one of the forbearers of today Balloon Federation of America.
Double Eagle - by Charles McCarry with Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman (1979) This book details the first flight across the Atlantic. 

Flying - The Memoirs of a Spanish Aeronaut - By Emilio Herrera (1984) This book chronicles the life of Emilio Herrera.  The story describes his involvement in gas ballooning  and how this involvement followed him in life.   A very interesting  summary of gas ballooning for fun, in the military and for science during the early part of the 19th century.

Aeronautica by Monk Mason 1838 - Is a famous account of an 1836 flight from London to Weilburg, in which he was a participant.  It is a classic account of gas ballooning which he vividly conveys the flavor of the the adventures of the early aeronauts.

The First Air Voyage in America Jan 9, 1783 - Jean Pierre Blanchard.  This book is a first person account of the first gas balloon voyage in the United States.  It is about 5 pages long.