The Aeronauts hits theaters December 6, 2019, and will be available for streaming on Amazon Video on December 20.

A 19th-century aspiring meteorologist with a dream of predicting the weather hires a young female aeronaut to pilot a hot-air balloon for his experiments in the first trailer for The Aeronauts, a forthcoming original film from Amazon Studios. Per the official synopsis:

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While breaking records and advancing scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them. But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival.

James Glaisher is a historical figure well known to aviation history buffs, since he and his pilot, Henry Coxwell, made several balloon flights to measure the temperature and humidity of the upper atmosphere between 1862 and 1866. Armed with scientific instruments and bottles of brandy, Glaisher and Coxwell set a world-altitude record on their very first successful flight, reaching an estimated 38,999 feet (11,887 meters) on September 5, 1862. They were the first men to reach the atmospheric stratosphere, without the benefit of oxygen tanks, pressure suits, or a pressurized cabin.

The men released pigeons at various altitudes during their ascent to see how well they flew, recalling that those released above the three-mile mark "dropped like a stone." The men would have continued rising and likely died because the valving rope Coxwell needed to manipulate to begin their descent got tangled up with the balloon net. Coxwell had to climb out of the basket into the rigging to release the valve with his teeth—his hands were badly frost-bitten—in order to begin their descent. By then, Glaisher had passed out. Eventually, the men landed safely (if a bit roughly) about 20 miles from their original launch point.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Top