Near Bruning in Thayer County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
First Free Flight of a Modern Hot-Air Balloon
On October 22, 1960, Paul E. ‘Ed’ Yost made the first free flight of a modern hot-air balloon from the former Bruning Army Air Field. The flight lasted 25 minutes and covered 3 miles.
Humans first flew in 1783 in a hot-air balloon conceived and built by the Montgolfier brothers, in France, 120 years before an airplane flew. The hot-air balloon languished until 1956 when Ed Yost received a contract from the Office of Naval Research to develop a practical hot-air balloon. Yost designed the shape of the envelope, pioneered the use of nylon, and developed propane heaters that made controlled and sustained flight possible.
While working on scientific balloon projects, Yost made many airplane flights from Raven Industries in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Texas, flying directly over Bruning Army Air Field. After launching 2 large helium scientific balloons from Bruning, Yost decided it would be a good location from which to test fly the new hot-air balloon because there was open space with few obstructions.
Ed Yost’s modern hot-air balloon first flown in Bruning transformed ballooning from an elite activity to a sport open
Erected by Outhaus Balloon Club; and Nebraska State Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Sports. In addition, it is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is October 22, 1960.
Location. 40° 19.288′ N, 97° 26.827′ W. Marker is near Bruning, Nebraska, in Thayer County. Marker is on State Highway 4, 6.8 miles east of U.S. 81, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located in a pull-out on the north side of the highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bruning NE 68322, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bruning Air Field Pilots Killed near Naper, Nebraska (here, next to this marker); Bruning Army Air Field (here, next to this marker); The Ohiowa Auditorium (approx. 6.4 miles away); The Forty-Niner Trail (approx. 7.4 miles away); Sergeant Leodegar Schnyder (approx. 9.2 miles away); In Memory of the Sons of Strang (approx. 9.8 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 10½ miles away); Bank Building (approx. 12.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bruning.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Bruning Army Air Field
Also see . . .
1. The First Flight of the Modern Hot Air Balloon.
The history of lighter-than-air aviation is a long one but the hot air balloon of today wasn't developed until the late 1950s and wasn't successfully flown untethered until 1960. This is film of the first flight on Oct. 22, 1960 in Bruning, Nebraska.(Submitted on October 3, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. A Brief History of Hot Air Ballooning.
Hot air ballooning has only been around for a little over 2 centuries, but it has a rich history filled with many important events. The history of ballooning is the history of flight because humans first achieved flight with balloons. For almost 150 years prior to the airplane, ballooning permeated many areas of human life and human achievement. From travel, mapping, research, military, photography and entertainment.(Submitted on October 3, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 23, 2023. It was originally submitted on October 1, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 192 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week October 22, 2023. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 2, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 3. submitted on October 3, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on October 21, 2023, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.