A few days ago, the famous illusionist David Blaine announced that he was preparing to perform a very unusual trick. He intends to fly over the Hudson River on a bunch of balloons. This is his first stunt of this kind in the last ten years.
Blaine's unusual idea is not the first attempt to make such a flight. Forty years ago, Larry Walters took to the air, sitting in a chair, to which were strapped many balloons filled with helium. Walters managed to climb 5 kilometers, but began to have serious difficulties when he tried to slow down his takeoff. As a result, he spent 14 hours in the monstrous cold at high altitude, until his chair was carried by the air currents to the Los Angeles airport.
Larry Walters Flight
To get an idea of what Blaine has to do, just look at the calculations in the Omni Calculator. David announced that he intends to fly at a height of 2 meters, and he himself weighs 79 kilograms. This means he will need 6, 500 standard helium-filled balloons just to get up in the air. This is 74, 000 liters of helium or 74 cubic meters, which is more than the volume of an average room.
Be that as it may, Blaine is now making test flights at an altitude well above the declared two meters in the Arizona desert. You can watch how one of these flights takes place in this video.