Have you ever dreamed of being carried into the sky by a giant bouquet of colorful toy balloons?
That’s the idea behind cluster ballooning. The pilot wears a harness, to which a cluster of large, helium-filled balloons are attached. Control is achieved by releasing ballast to ascend, or by bursting balloons to descend.
The most famous cluster balloon flight took place in 1982. Larry Walters, with no prior ballooning experience, attached 42 helium weather balloons to a lawnchair, intending to go up a few hundred feet, but instead soaring to 16,000. Surprisingly, Walters survived his flight. However, both before and since Walters’ adventure, experienced balloonists have experimented with helium balloon clusters, some rising to even greater heights.