Sophie Blanchard (1778-1819) was the
first female balloonist in the world. She made more than 60 ascents in hot air
balloons, and was given the title of “Aeronaut of Official Festivals” by
She made her first
ascent in 1804, and even though she was not the first woman to ride in a hot
air balloon, she was the first to pilot one on her own, and to make a career
out of it. She continued to perform remarkable stunts – such as crossing the
Alps in a balloon – until her death in an accident in 1819.