Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Balloon Backpack

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A backpack which contains two helium containers intended for flight. The first container inflates a balloon contained in the upper half of the backpack. The second is used for steering via air emission out of 1 of 2 backward facing tubes coming out of the sides of the backpack. If a balloon backpacker is on course both tubes can be used for a speed boost.

The backpack is operated by a remote with 6 buttons; fast inflate, inflate, boost, left, right, deflate. When the user is short on compressed air the backpack will commence a landing sequence based on an altitude/air/weight formula, this same formula will prohibit unsafe altitudes. The backpack's helium canisters can be refilled wherever balloons are sold. Extra straps keep the backpack on.

Intended for recreational use.

Edit: Helium rather than compressed air.

Mr Buttersworth, Jan 12 2007

Wikipedia: Cluster ballooning http://en.wikipedia.../Cluster_ballooning
The Larry Walters-style lawn chair flying thing, slightly different from the single balloon in this idea. But the picture gives you an idea of the volume of helium needed! [jutta, Jan 13 2007]

Mythbusters: Adam Savage, 7000 balloons http://dsc.discover...oon/balloon_09.html
On the occasion of a stunt for the David Letterman show. (At the same appearance, they suspended their co-guest, actor Paul Newman.) [jutta, Jan 13 2007]

This works as of 2014 (and we are getting older) http://www.discover...n-girl-minimyth.htm
[pashute, Oct 19 2014]

lightweight gas cylinders - see my anno http://www.hexagonr...ical-specifications
[pashute, Oct 19 2014]

gas weight/volume calculator http://www.airprodu...valents/helium.aspx
[pashute, Oct 19 2014]


       This is the perfect mode of transport to get me to school quickly... How long will it take for you to manufacture one of these?
deoxyribonucleic, Jan 12 2007

       Maybe a month or two. :-)
Mr Buttersworth, Jan 12 2007

       Put me down for one.. Cash is in the post.. Maybe two actually..
deoxyribonucleic, Jan 12 2007

       if i remember correctly, those zany guys on mythbusters tried to lift a 40 pound child using helium filled balloons. their first estimates were that 2,000 balloons were needed, it turned out they needed 3 or 4 thousand. although Larry Walters guy did it using weather balloons...   

       Edited, thanks jutta.
boogalooShrimp, Jan 13 2007

       Jutta's Mythbusters link shows a shark and says the page was "devoured".
pashute, Oct 19 2014

       To lift an 80kg payload requires (approximately) a 70m3 envelope using hydrogen or helium. For a 700 Bar tank, the volume required is therefore 100 litres. A typical SCUBA tank is around 10 litres ... and can't take 700 Bar, only about 250. So, an absolute minimum of ten 10-litre gas bottles to lug around.   

       Not a backpack - a trolley ...
8th of 7, Oct 19 2014

       Lightweight cylinder weighs 6.3 kg holds 33.5 Liters [link].   

       33.5 Liter helium converts into 24.5 cubic meters of Helium gas (at 1 atm and 15C) which weigh 4.1 KG [link]   

       24.5 cubic meters of nitrogen (air) weigh 28.4 kg. So your lift per cylinder is 18.1kg per cylinder. You'll need 6 of those to raise you in the air. Together they would weigh 60 kg, and be quite a large back pack, but still conceivable, and you could continuously have half of them open so some of the extra weight is balanced off.   

       Also, there is a noticeable drop in the weight of the cylinders when they are larger, so perhaps a double or quadruple sized canister would weigh much less (giving a few extra kg of lift.   

       Then you have to figure the cost and weight of the compressors or cryogenic cooler and speed that you want it to work at.   

       Don't forget that liquid helium is achieved only at -269C and only using the Hampson-Linde cycle.
pashute, Oct 19 2014


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