All of us who have seen Disney Pixar’s movie “UP” have thought about flying with a horde of helium balloons tied to ourselves. This man from Adventurists actually went ahead and did it. The Adventurists is an adventure company based in Bristol, England, offers unusual holidays to those seeking extraordinary experiences. Their latest idea was tying a hundred helium-filled balloons to a lawn chair to travel across open fields.
Before they could put this idea into action, it had to be tested and deemed safe. “It’s going to be a three-day, long distance, floating adventure under party balloons on a chair… probably the silliest air race,” Tom Morgan, the founder of The Adventurists, described in a video posted to the company’s Facebook page.
Tom and his team flew to Botswana to put their idea to the test as that provided large open spaces to test their project freely. “There’s lots of open space. And it’s in the middle of a continent, so when the wind blows, we won’t land in the sea and die,” said Morgan.
They kept trying but met with failure for a complete week before they moved off to the north of Johannesburg, in South Africa. “The problem was finding a good weather window and it was difficult to protect the balloons as they kept bursting,” Morgan told BBC News.
With helium remaining for one last try, the team spent two careful days filling the gas into party balloons. On the morning of 23rd October, they strapped a lawn chair to 100 helium filled balloons and Tom finally rose into the air. The ascent was slow at first but quickly gained speed as the inversion layer of the atmosphere was reached. “I had to keep my cool and start gradually cutting the balloons,” Tom recalled. “It was a fairly indescribable feeling, wafting across Africa on a cheap camping chair dangling from a load of balloons.”
The flight lasted a total of two hours, covering a distance of 25 km. The maximum height achieved by Tom was 8000 feet, which almost 2.5 km from the ground with nothing but helium balloons keeping him in the air. “We weren’t even sure Tom would come back alive. We didn’t think he was going to manage it,” Matthew Dickens, event manager for The Adventurists, told CBS News. “But yeah, he got there in the end.”
With the new adventure tested safely, we might see a number of enthusiasts lining up to go on a “UP” adventure.