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# dueling dirigibles

fly and/or die
 (+7, -2) [vote for, against]

Take each contestant and put them on a scale. Attach a body harness, short bungee cord and a weather balloon. Inflate the balloon with helium until the contestants weight is 3 lbs. Give each a sabre and facemask. Watch as contestants leap up to 180 ft. vertically (typ. 200 lb contestant with a normal leap of 36") and behave much as fighting cocks do when trying to survive. For the more conservative, strap the balloon on and go jump off a cliff. Pogo sticks might come in handy.
 — dora, Nov 14 2005

Introduction to Cluster Ballooning http://www.clusterb...rg/intro/intro.html
"Anywhere from 50 to 150 balloons may be needed." [jutta, Nov 14 2005]

Thunderdome (Burning Man version) http://www.mccullag...man-thunderdome.jpg
Seems to me this achieves the bouncing and leaping duel much more handily. [DrCurry, Nov 14 2005]

 Your physics are a bit wonky - tying a balloon to yourself doesn't let you make giant leaps, and you're talking *way* more than a single balloon. So, I'm not sure the dueling thing works. But just flying around with this is pretty cool - see link.

Come to think of it, how _do_ "fighting cocks behave when trying to survive"? Because, clearly, attacking each other is the wrong strategy for that.
 — jutta, Nov 14 2005

the physics are simple; the amount of helium in the balloon will displace the weight of the contestant. Instead of using enough helium to go sky high, one simply uses only the amount needed to displace all but 3 lbs of his/her weight. Each contestant will then weigh exactly 3 lbs. This is somewhat less than moon weight. Of course the important factor is the volume of the lighter than air gas. You can use alot of smaller balloons or you can use one big balloon. Nice link though. Clearly, you haven't seen a live cock fight. If you do some research on how this ritual is done you will see what I mean. Anyway, the point is to think about the strategy of vertical elevation in flux with horizontal movement, dexterity and ruthlessness.
 — dora, Nov 14 2005

 While sleeping last night I realized that the connection between the balloon and the contestant would have to be rigid so that as one jumped everything would behave as a single unit.

 So, nevermind the bungee cord and substitute a short rigid connector to the balloon via a padded harness.

One large weather balloon would also have a much more rigid skin than those in the link and would behave more like you wanted.
 — dora, Nov 14 2005

A weather balloon isn't (a) dirigble.
//the physics are simple// and mostly wrong in this case - if you managed to balance the lift of a weather balloon at ground level to give 3lbs of lift, it would expand as it rose, giving ever-increasing amounts of lift until it burst.
 — coprocephalous, Nov 14 2005

 Sounds like Mad Max Beyond The Thunderdome with balloons.

 Now, instead of a Buckminster Fuller cage, suspending the bungees from dirigibles flying at 1,000' would be interesting to some, although for it to be practical for duelling purposes, I think you'd need to be tethered to the same dirigible.

[Trying to fight with a humongous weather balloon strapped to your back would be so wildly cumbersome, I think we can dismiss that out of hand, and go back to bungee cables.]
 — DrCurry, Nov 14 2005

I was thinkin that it would be a gas to swing in big arcs under the balloon on the bungee.
 — dora, Nov 15 2005

Now *that* is thoroughly Baked.
 — DrCurry, Nov 15 2005

Dueling dirigibles, Batman!
 — rubyminky, Nov 17 2005

Yay, gonflable!
 — skinflaps, Nov 17 2005

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