“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.”
Now, while I have no personal desire to go floating through the air attached to balloons (I’m afraid of heights), the concept and the thought that other people want to do it is very fascinating to me. The author of this site is John Ninomiya and he has actually done cluster balloon flying. You can see his journey by going to the Learning to Fly section.
“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”
I love that this site actually has the warning Kids, don’t try this at home. Because I think this is something that adventurous kids would want to try. A lot of the pilots of cluster flights were hot air balloon pilots first or have done tremendous research into how do this safely.
There are some interesting sections to check out at the bottom of the page like: States of Enlightenment, Continental Drift, and Introduction to Cluster Ballooning. My favorite of three is the States of Enlightenment.