Inspired by the Pixar movie Up! National Geographic in 2011 decided to built a house that can really fly. With the help of only coloured helium balloons Jonathan Trappe made the dream come true by creating a real flying house.
A Flying house with 300 balloons
Using 300 helium-filled weather balloons, a team of scientists, engineers, two balloon pilots and dozens of volunteers, they managed to get the small house 10,000 feet into the air. Each of the balloons were eight-feet high and filled with a whole tank of helium.
As well as getting the house to fly, they set a world record for largest cluster balloon flight ever attempted at that time (2011).
The experiment was done as part of a new National Geographic TV series How Hard Can it Be?
The 4.8m x 4.8m x 5.5m house flew across California’s High Desert for about an hour with two people inside, just like the Disney Pixar film.
Cluster Balloon Pioneer Jonathan Trappe
In 2012 cluster balloon pioneer Jonathan Trappe – who had previously become the first person to cluster balloon across the English Channel, and who was the pilot in the National Geographic mission – took a house to the skies once again.
At the Leon International Balloon festival in Mexico he soared under a towering cluster of helium filled balloons at 8,500 feet to prepare himself for the first ever Trans-Atlantic cluster balloon crossing. Somewhere in 2013 he hopes to make the 2500 mile crossing from Maine to Paris in a 7 foot lifeboat carried by 365 huge helium balloons..
Until then you can enjoy the in-flight video shot during the Mexico flight!