About 70,000 litres.
And yes, those are real people,
是的 你没看错 那是货真价实的人
flying under real helium balloons.
But if you just want to know the answer to
how much helium you need to lift a person,
well, an average adult weighs about 70 kilos,
in normal conditions, one litre of helium will provide enough lift for about one gram,
so you’d need about 70,000 liters.
Proving that, and finding out how this is done safely,
and how you can also have a go…
That’s the rest of this video.
I’ve wanted to do something like this for years. Of course I have.
I think lots of people have dreamt of flying away on balloons.
But as far as I knew,
the logistics and safety required made it impossible,
unless you had a ridiculous budget.
And then, someone told me about Aéroplume in France,
and the budget dropped to €60 for a ticket.
So the rest of this video isn’t going to be scripted,
it’s just me, one of the team here holding my camera,
and about 70,000 liters of helium that’s going to lift me up.
This hangar was built in 1919.
It was used first for the blimp here,
to survey and fly over the coast to detect the enemy submarines.
And in 2000, it goes out of the military domain.
-Be careful to your head. -Oh yeah, that is… that’s solid, okay!
-小心头 -噢 好的 那是……硬的 可以
The history of the Aéroplume starts maybe more than 20 years ago.
That blimp was created by a man who was called Jean Pierre David,
a French artist.
That was much easier than I thought it would be.
He discovered the world of the blimp and fell in love.
And so, because he is an inventor,
and an artist, an engineer,
he decided to create his own blimp,
big enough to allow him to fly by beating the wings.
Since 2009, we propose people to fly here.
The other location is a cave, 50 meters under the ground.
We propose the flight here during all the French school holidays.
So if we just let you go down, you will go on the top,
and you won’t be able to go down ever!
– Right! – So if I want you to be free and autonome,
I have to make you reach the static balance.
– Okay. – That’s why,
depending on your weight,
I can add some little weight like this to your blimp
in order to make you float.
-If we just take off this -Oh!
-What is happening? You’re just floating, yeah? -Just floating.
-会发生什么？你飘在空中 对吧？ -是的
We have three aéroplumes here and they are different by their volumes.
We have a bigger one that can carry up to 90 kilograms,
we have one that can carry up to 70 kilograms,
and one that can carry up to 45.
Now you can take the wings by the black handle.
Everything you will do, you do it really slowly.
That’s the same as if you were swimming.
So first I will show you how to move forward.
You want the wings to be flat like this.
In order to go, take some air and push behind.
要往前 就要带动空气 然后向后推
Like paddling a kayak.
Yeah, exactly the same as in a kayak.
And if I want to turn, it’s with one?
Exactly, so you know how to turn.
If you are doing only one wing, you will turn.
Don’t react so quickly,
but when it’s turning, now you can take a break.
It will continue during a very long time.
-There is a lot of inertia, yeah? -Yeah.
-惯性很大 对吧？ -是的
I didn’t feel like I was turning at all
and then suddenly I was.
Yeah. And we can also go back if you want to
by pushing the air on front and go flat again.
To go up, the same as if you were swimming again.
When you go forward, the air is going under the wings,
And that provides lift.
-You have to switch to make the same angle when you go back. – Oh!
And this is every time like this,
from the front to the back,
you can feel it, the air is going under the wings.
If you want to go down, it’ll be the opposite movement.
That feels so natural.
– Yeah. – The opposite way of going up.
At the beginning of the season
we just choose to fill the blimp with 100% helium there.
And with the time, the helium is going out,
there is some leaks,
so we can just add some more helium to compensate.
And really the one problem here is osmosis.
So there is the air present outside that wants to go in the aéroplume,
And once is in, we can’t extract him.
So the more we spend the time here, the more air is inside,
so the less it can carry.
Once a year we have the obligation to just empty everything
and refill again.
Of course we are conscious of the helium
because it’s very expensive and we don’t want waste helium.
When you don’t do nothing, once you get high,
-Yeah, it starts to descend again. -the balloon… is going down.
-它就会重新开始下降 -飞艇…… 在下降
That’s because, and maybe we will repeat that after,
but we made you reach the static balance,
and it depends on the temperature.
– Oh – And the more higher you go
I’m definitely going up quite quickly now.
That’s why I just take off one kilogram.
The higher you are, the hotter it is.
Now you reach a new situation of static balance
with the new condition of temperature.
Because of the slow speed of the balloon and the inertia,
we have to pilot really slowly,
and that’s why we are indoor,
to be protected against the wind
and all the variation of the weather conditions.
I noticed you had a sign on the door saying
make sure that the door is closed.
’cause the slightest breeze
would blow me completely off course.
There is no problem of safety
because we are following you on the ground,
always linked by a little tether.
But the tether is slack.
You’re not holding me down here,
-I’m just floating. – No, you are totally free.
-我就在天上飘 -是的 你完全自由
If you’re slow and quiet enough,
you will realize how to pilot
and have the time to anticipate, so the tether is not used.
Take some break and observe that it’s still turning left.
-Yeah, you can rest like so. -Wow.
-没错 你可以这样放松 -哇
If it’s too late to avoid the wall or the roof
it will pull, not for your safety,
but for the safety of the blimp
Otherwise, if we just touch so many times, it will break.
That’s not a pressurized balloon.
That’s just an envelope filled with helium.
So the helium will just go out slowly.
It will lose its capacity to carry,
so the pilot will land slowly.
I’m amazed how calm and safe I feel right now.
It’s happened one time here.
Some elements from the roof just go through the envelope
and the pilot didn’t notice that.
They were just trying to go, happen, oh, it’s difficult
because the helium was going out.
So, he…he landed.
-All right, permission to land? -Yeah.
-好了 允许着陆吗？ -当然
More than 10,000 flights here in the Aéroplume,
and zero accidents.
Oh, you know what…
I mean, it’s not a spot on landing, but I’ll take it.
我是说 这不是一个着陆点 但没关系
If you can catch the table?
I’m going to try. There we go.
-Catch it. -Got it.
– Perfect, so I will just take the time to lift the blimp,
and I will allow you to go out.
It was a really good flight.
I’m half expecting to take the table up with me here.
No, she’s attached to the ground!
– You can…Yeah, you can, if you want to. – All right.
-你可以……可以 如果你想的话 -好吧
-Antoine, thank you so, so much. -It was great.
-太太太感谢你了 安东尼 -很棒
That was incredible, thank you.
About 70,000 litres.