Many of us, especially if we have children, have seen the Pixar movie Up.  That's the movie where the old man, accompanied by a young stowaway, us helium balloons to fly the man's house to South America.

Seemingly inspired by that movie, magician / illusionist David Blaine recently  announced that he intends to fly across the Hudson River using only a bundle of balloons.  His latest stunt, called The Ascension, will take place on Youtube on August 31st.

What would it for a Mainer to do the same thing?  How many helium balloons would it take for you to fly across the Kennebec River?

Thanks to a couple of science-lovers, Dominik Czernia and Bogna Haponiuk, we know.  They have developed a calculation tool.

All you need to do is tell it how much you weigh (or the weight of whatever you want to send on the trip), the size of the balloons, and the type of gas you are using.  It will spit out the volume of gas you'll need and the number of balloons you'll need.

Helium Balloons Calculator

As a guy who weighs about 220 pounds, it will take me about 8,200 regular sized (11") balloons to float across the Kennebec River!

How many would it take you?

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