Most of you have watched the famous animated movie ‘Up’ and how the main character in it floats away using balloons to lift his house up from ground. Meet Erik Roner who is into extreme sports and also a diehard fan of the movie and is famous from Nitro Circus. He made use of 90 balloons that contained helium to lift him and his sun lounger up to a height of 8,000 ft. Now that’s really something!
According to Roner, he always wanted to do this for a really long time now. He could have used the balloons of same color for this purpose, but owing to the fact he is a true fan of the animated movie ‘Up’, he went ahead and used different colored balloons to pay tribute to the original film. However, he did have a backup plan in case the balloons failed.
The team behind this whole endeavor had to carry out immense calculations before Erik stepped onto and sat in the lounger. One aspect of the calculation was to calculate that how much helium will be used for the lift off and to carry him around. Factors such as the height that he would be able to reach and how far would he travel were also considered.
The team carefully looked into the type of the sun lounger used in the project. There was also the question of how he would return to the ground once the lift off and flotation had taken place. The team’s final work included coming up with how he will be skydiving and to keep the shotgun in his hand steady. Weather played a crucial role in this whole scenario.
The sun lounger was designed so that the release system could easily be triggered by the parachute rigger and that’s why it had to be lightweight. The team also came up with a stable platform so that the balloons and lines could be released when required. The whole assembly was assembled from parachute materials along with 3-ring release system. Other components included risers, cutaway cable and rope, etc.
A total of 20 volunteers inflated the balloons with 50 tanks of helium before affixing them to the lounger. The lounger was ultimately set free from the cable that was holding it next to ground and Roner, along with his shotgun, rose up into the air. The shotgun was used to burst balloons as per requirement to control the ascent. He later on used a parachute to float back to the ground safe and sound.