Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Flying a Person With Balloons: Can You Really Actually Fly With Balloons?

For thousands of years people have been wanting to fly like the birds. The airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers in the early 1900's, but there were many attempts to fly in different manners before that. Blimps and balloons were some of the original ways for people to fly. Hot air balloons and blimps have increased in technology but they are not in very common use nowadays. So can you fly yourself with using a bunch of regular party balloons?

If you listen to the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, then you have undoubtedly heard the saga with the show staff and Howard Stern himself trying to convince a frequent caller named Eric the Midget to fly himself using balloons. At first Eric didn't want to do it, but then it all changed when he wanted something out of the show. At first he wanted Howard to get him tickets to a movie premiere that starred his favorite WWE wrestler. That did not pan out but then he said he would do it if they allowed him to come into the studio to meet Katherine McPhee, the singer who competed on American Idol. He went back and forth a dozen different times, first saying he wouldn't do it, then saying he would do it, then saying that he was willing to do it but that it was impossible so why even attempt it. And of course we've all heard the story of the balloon boy who was in the news a few years ago. A man said that his son was in a chair being suspended in the air by only balloons. But eventually it turned out the boy was never in the balloons. Balloon boy didn't really do it and Eric the midget never even tried it, so the question remains: Can you fly yourself using only balloons?

Apparently you can fly yourself with balloons. It requires larger balloons than the standard balloons that you will find at a kids birthday party. The balloons to use are the larger 4 foot balloons that are able to carry about a pound of weight each. Eric the Midget is only 85 pounds so you could easily do it with under 100 balloons. I found a website that shows a man flying himself in a lawn chair attached to a bunch of balloons. He used 105 of these balloons and achieved a pretty decent amount of altitude. I also heard about somebody doing the same thing on the Late Night with David Letterman Show, but I could not find anything about it. The guy who was able to fly himself using balloons flew over 3 stories high, so I could see why Eric would be a little apprehensive about doing it. He wanted a harness and helmet but Howard didn't want him to wear anything: he thought that the balloons should be directly attached to him with no safety equipment. Howard first wanted to do it inside in the radio studio but I they realized that there was not even close to enough room for all those large balloons. Eric eventually stood his ground saying that he wouldn't do it because Howard and the other people on his show made fun of Eric so much that he got mad at them. He attempted to call the celebrity herself and tell her to not appear on the Howard Stern Radio Show on satellite radio. It turns out that she eventually changed her number as it appears that Eric called her a few too many times. So he never got to fly with balloons, but at least now we know that it is possible. If a grown man in a lawn chair can do it then an 85 pound little person could definitely do it. Will Eric ever fly with balloons? We may never know. But is it possible for him to do it? Yes it is!