You know that movie 'Up' by Pixar? The one about the crotchety old man and chubby boyscout? Yeah, I haven't actually seen it (somebody said it'd be too sad for me AND I'M DELICATE LIKE EXPLOSIVE GEL). Well, to promote their upcoming television series 'How Hard Can It Be?', National Geographic built a functional replica of the 'Up' house to -- get this -- see how hard it could be. SOFT LOOKS PRETTY SOFT.
...March 5 at dawn, National Geographic Channel and a team of scientists, engineers, and two world-class balloon pilots successfully launched a 16' X 16' house 18' tall with 300 8' colored weather balloons from a private airfield east of Los Angeles, and set a new world record for the largest balloon cluster flight ever attempted. The entire experimental aircraft was more than 10 stories high, reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet, and flew for approximately one hour.
The filming of the event, from a private airstrip, will be part of a new National Geographic Channel series called How Hard Can it Be?, which will premiere in fall 2011.
MYTHBUSTERS KNOCKOFF. And it only took eight years to come up with the idea! Smooth, National Geographic executives. And by smooth I mean rough, like wiping your ass with a handful of sand and gravel. That said, I'll still watch it. And not just because I can only stand so much ginger facial hair and berets, but...actually that is mostly why. Plus it's hard making room on my DVR with so much Real Housewives and Jersey Shore.
Hit the jump for several more pictures and a video news report of the I believe I can fly in action.
The House From Up! Now Exists In Real Life--and It Flies! [gizmodo]
Up-Inspired Floating House [mymodernmet] (with more high-res shots)
Thanks to Camille, who once attached helium balloon to a dollhouse with disastrous results (it headed straight for a ceiling fan -- there were no survivors).