# How many balloons?

How many stardard sized helium balloons would it take to lift me about a foot and a half off the ground and keep me floating there? I weigh about 130. I’ve just always wondered…
Thanks!

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,300 balloons.

Using the numbers here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/question185.htm
and a weight of 60 kg (pretty close to 130 lbs) I ended up with 4,286 balloons.

Mythbusters tried to lift a small child with balloons. They had a lot of difficulty dealing with the balloons once they had a lot of them to wrangle. IIRC the balloons were so unstable they ended up using a fake child instead of the real thing.

Well that sounds unwieldy! I’ll bet they don’t even drop that many balloons at political conventions…

Thanks, EngCompGeek, that was what I was looking for .

(Looks like I’ll be remaining earthbound for the time being.)

Furthermore, if you managed to gather together enough balloons to lift you off the ground, they wouldn’t stop lifting you at a foot and a half off the ground. Once the lift from the balloons exceeded your weight, you’d rise until you reached an altitude where the decrease in air pressure either negated enough lift to stop you rising, or caused the balloons to start bursting. This would probably be thousands of feet in the air.

In 2004, the Republicans dropped 120,000 ballons at their convention.

More.Scroll down.

Which is exactly what happened to that guy who attached a bunch of helium-filled weather balloons to his lawn chair. Snopes article

I believe he recently redid his stunt (legally) as part of a fundraising project.

Don’t think so, he committed suicide in 1993.

The Snopes article says he commited suicide in 1993.

ETA: Boards seem slow today.

Larry’s not around any more, but there is a small group of people who fly using his techique (with a little more thought to planning and safety) and call it cluster ballooning