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How much helium does it take to lift a person?
- Published on Sep 11, 2022 veröffentlicht
- The Aéroplume, in France, is a helium blimp sized for one person. €60 gets you half an hour's flight. I had to try it. ■ More about Aéroplume: aeroplume.fr ■ This isn't sponsored: I paid for my flight at the normal price, I was the one to contact them asking permission, and Aéroplume had no editorial control. I am, however, amazed that in the ten years this has been going, no-one's ever told me about it before!
Edited by Michelle Martin mrsmmartin
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at tomscott
on Facebook at tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo
Comments • 4 943
Apologies for the creaking noises here: they weren't that loud in person, it's just that lavalier microphones don't work that well when lying down!
It’s ok tom we love you
4 days ago
Love how he apologizes before he even uploads it. Like, he's saying sorry to his data pirates.
Apology not accepted. What compensation do I receive?
I think most viewers would assume it’s just part of the experience.
Tom has accomplished his lifelong dream of becoming an airship, congrats Tom!
My addiction to Helium is out of control, but...
no one is taking my cries for help seriously.
@In Darkness xD
Thomas The AirShip
After all the "don't go here, they're not prepared for tourists" and "this river will kill you" type videos, it's nice to get one where the rest of us could reasonably afford to do this, assuming we have another reason to be in the area.
This has probably been one of your more rewarding experiences of late as well, as it looked like you were having a blimpload of fun. And Aéroplume will almost certainly see an uptick in business. Sometimes all a good idea needs is for people to know it exists and it can propel itself from there.
You want ANOTHER reason? (grin)
Those jokes float outside my tastes
...."bigger one can carry up to 90 kilograms".... not for me then 😒
@Mr Bee Outdoors Another motivator to lose weight?
When Tom Scott poses a question, he answers in a prompt and concise fashion. No intro, no adds; 70,000 litres before three seconds!
that's amazing !
And he didn't beg viewers to hit the bell button to subsribe! You get the answer immediately.
I love how he filters through viewers by just straight up answering the question. Like "now you're just here to see me!"
imagine how much it takes to lift you in your Vehicle🤔
I think this is an excellent demonstration of how adapt we are at tool use. As soon as Tom was in the air, he adapted to his new body as an air whale.
I hope this is a joke
@Tejas Menon Why would it be a joke?
tom's living the life. he gets to have once in a lifetime experiences on a weekly basis and get paid
Makes the title a question, immediantly answers the question, then provides entertainment for the duration of the video.
Tom Scott is a Clip-Sharer like no other.
Like anti-clickbait. Love it.
Daily dose of internet also kind of does this, can't think of anyone else though so you are right.
And i love it! Never liked a video so fast like this.
It is a welcome change from the long, drawn-out let downs.
But before we dive into that I would like to introduce to the sponsor of this video...
I so want to go and try this, as I am stuck in a wheelchair for most of the time when I'm out. I could tell how much you were enjoying that Tom. Thanks for sharing an amazing adventure with us all. Kindest regards, Dave W 👏😊
If you can, I know some swimming pools have "aqua-gym"-like activities for people in wheelchair. Not as fun as this, but still nice.
Did you see the Fly With Geese episode?
That looks awesome too!
So long as you would be physically capable of getting into the blimp harness, even if you need assistance, and your arms work, I guess youd be able to take one of these helium balloon rides. Then you, a mostly-wheelchair-bound individual, would have had an experience most of us with two perfectly good legs have never had, flight.
it would be so cool to do this, right?
"Not for your safety, but for the safety of the blimp" Great line.
I confess that I was ready to correct you when I saw "Helium", saying that you were floating, not flying, but you were flying in the sense of propelling your self in three dimensions.
Years ago I came to the conclusion that birds swim through the air, and fish fly through the ocean water.
What is your reasoning behind your last statement?
@Slapturkey I think it's because birds propel themselves up into the air. Whereas fish already float in water, they just controlling their vector.
@Alifaan Both are fluids, think of it that way.
I don’t think birds and fishes are any different. They both on fluid medium, just with different densities and weights. And both experience gravity. Did you know sharks would drown if they didn’t swim?
Some birds glide... Just saying. :)
I loved Antoine's calm and slow demeanor, he really sets the speed of how people are going to act in there.❤❤
I vividly remember a dream I've had as a teenager, and it was just me floating freely (of course without the helium-filled blimp), I felt so free. Waking up from that dream was devastating, but watching this video has given me hope to perhaps experience that feeling again!
You can do it again if you learn to lucid dream
I dream that every now and then, its so fun :))
That's one of my favourate dream i see time by time
The drawback would be to feel the gravity pushing you towards the harness.
This is how I fly in dreams? I paddle my arms just like that as if they're wings and I'm swimming through air!!!
This is now on my list of things to see/do in France if I ever end up going there. Very cool video Tom and a big thanks to all those who make such a fun, scientific activity available.
I love how this and the robotic elephant create an unintended subseries of "French people recreating Jules Verne concepts in real life". Can't wait to learn about more steampunk adventures I could do for my next French holiday.
What is a Jules Verne concept?
@cartoon fantasy Jules Verne is the father of science fiction.
@cartoon fantasy You know the old science fiction author who made such classics as "2000 Leagues under the Sea" or "Around the World in 80 Days".
@cartoon fantasy Jules Verne is a French writer and author, one of many references in French Literature. His writings were often based on scientific progress of the times (XIXth to XXth century). He wrote "Around The World in 80 Days", "Twenty-thousand Leagues Under The Sea" and the series "Voyages extraordinaires".
And as a concept, it would be objects inspired by that era, kind of steampunk-like. Like the Nautilus for example.
Can't wait for Tom to visit Iraq to see whatever remains of Project Babylon
EDIT: oh wait, French people. Is there a Frenchman who has invented a gun that can shoot people towards the moon yet?
I love how Tom is always out of breath. It makes me feel as though he loves educating us so much that he actually runs out of breath.
The pure joy in Tom's face when he started ascending put a huge smile on my face.
I really respect you opening the video with the answer for anybody who wanted to find out quickly! Though I am definitely here for the whole video :)
I just love your honest, straight to the point approach. No nonsense, no scam, no clickbait, you provide the answer and proceed to explain, and I respect that and watch through whole videos beacuse of that.
I was wondering whether the difference in pressure between an underground cave and the hangar would make a difference to how much weight was required to achieve static balance, but then Antoine actually said that the difference in -pressure- temperature within the hangar itself was important, so that answered that question.
He actually said @4:54 that the difference in _temperature_ (not pressure) with height within the hanger was important - the temperature rise at the same pressure reduces density (and lift) just as reduced pressure at the same temperature would reduce density (and lift).
@Brian B-P Yes that's true. My point was that if such minor differences in density from the temperature matter then the density differences from pressure at different altitudes should also matter.
@Brian B-P I feel like I should add that you were right to correct me on this - I totally mixed up these concepts in my head when I was remembering what was said in the video. Thanks!
Can we just stop and thank the instructor. He did a very good job explaining the mechanics of the blimp 👍 as well as instructing Tom from what we can see
I also liked the colour of his shirt.
The instructor was great, I enjoyed listening to him. He had great explanations.
Thanks instructor guy, you added a lot to this video 👍
He actually knew the physics of it too, not just someone who is repeating instructions, someone that actually understands what's going on.
In his second language, too! I can't explain aerodynamics in English and I've been speaking it since birth
Lovely accent too, I could listen to his instructions all day!
I figured it was safe but I'm impressed by just how safe it is. The balloons not being pressurized is something that makes sense but I hadn't thought of.
not really safe until they put some thick foamy material on the floor
is it safer from not being pressurized? instructor said they had one incident when the balloon popped and the pilot didn't notice so I'd assume it doesn't pop or fart like when you stab or let go of a balloon
@OvenCake with pressurized it could pop like a birthday balloon and you would plummet to the floor immediately, so yes unpressurized is safer
@Ric Only if it was made of a weak easy to rip material like a birthday balloon. If you just put sticky tape on a balloon it won't pop when you put a pin in it.
I love the idea of butterflying on the moon. Apparently it could actually work on one of those small bodies. Itd be cool to see what kind of games can come from that.
I like seeing him happy, especially because he works hard to give us such great videos
Tom, you never cease to amaze me. One of the coolest experiences I have ever seen!
This seems more like everyone's dream of flying than those car drones or jetpacks. On the drone cars or a jetpacks you're kind of constantly stressed and worried about accidentally hitting something, but this is more like a dream where you're just being lifted up and enjoying it.
Tom at this point is just the physical embodiment of that one random ass thought that appears in your brain
You meant "of our dreams"
Have you heard about the helium shortage?
It's only gotten worse with inflation.
@In Darkness Thanks dad.
"Babe what are you thinking about?"
Tom Scott "Brb going to The Aéroplume, France." *leaves*
@In Darkness We need to use hydrogen for blimps. It can be just as safe. And/or somehow repurpose ITER to make helium!
the aerostatics are so interesting! its very neat how the temperature differential dictates a maximum height when paired with the proper ballast, for passive safety
This is so fun to watch! I can almost feel the aerodynamics he was experiencing
This is one of the few videos where Tom isn't completely terrified. I like it.
Thanks Tom... your experience is so inspiring and fresh to the soul! Thanks again for your work.
How amazing. I am wondering how safe it will be if flying outdoors.
Imagine hearing an air raid siren and then seeing an army of Tom Scott balloons come from behind the clouds. Someone needs to make a movie about that.
Very easy to take out with AAA.
@User 2C47 Not for Londoners at the Start at wwI
What would he drop? A deuce?
The army would just slowly and joyfully paddle over to tell you new facts XD
Honestly was expecting Tom to freak out (he usually does in a lot of situations) but he seem like a natural at that. Well done Tom...
The look of pure joy on Tom's face, I really hope they make a similar facility in the US. Absolutely magical, straight out of a victorian drawing
Added to my bucketlist! Respect for the instructor! He explains how to operate perfectly and one will feel completely safe.
Instant sub for not burying the lead. Thank you so much for leading with the answer. It made me so much more interested to watch your experience and how you got there.
The way Tom laughs in the end made us wanna fly too to feel that happiness and freedom 😂
So you’re deathly afraid of standing on a metal mesh with an expert showing you it’s safe, but flying on your own in a large helium balloon is fine? 😂
Keep making great videos Tom!
the guy stood on a flying plane. this is nothing
The human brain is weird!
i;ll second the "human brain is weird" answer. I've been skydiving. when you sat in the plane, looking out a window, yhea your high, but it doesnt feel dangerous. then, your stood in the doorway, and looking at the same drop, but without a sheet of glass in the way, sends you all sorts of danger signals and it takes a serious, deliberate mental effort to work past those. but 10 seconds later, when your out of the plane and under canopy? you dont feel unsafe anymore, your sat in a harness and the "danger" feels are gone again.
id imagine its something similar. the albert hall felt unsafe because he had no harness or anything to catch him (he didnt need it, but his brain wanted it anyway). in this, he can feel he's lying in supporting straps, safe and secure....also you start at very low altitude which might help ease the brain into the situtation.
@tompw3141 When I was 11, I went on a school trip to an activities place for a few days on the Isle of Wight. They had rock climbing walls there, and I flatout refused to do it as I wasn't fond of heights (still not really). I did, however, do abseiling on walls of the same height a couple times and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I still won't do rock climbing, but I'd do abseiling again, and I've wanted to do skydiving for a while. The brain is odd.
@Peter Bradley it also helps that he is somewhat in controle of the blimp.
That was really cool. My neck is totally messed up from whiplash damage so that would be extremely painful holding my head up like that unsuported ; but if I didn't have that issue I'd certainly like to try . Looks sooooo fun!
Holy crap I would absolutely love this because I love the feeling of floating in water, but being able to be actually floating in air high above ground… that’s just so cool.
This is properly brilliant. That guy is definitely an engineer.
This is simultaneously the coolest thing I've seen in a while, and yes also the most disappointing. Within a minute of the video starting, I checked their website and discovered that I am far in excess of the maximum weight limit. I'm not especially heavy, I'm just a tall, broad bloke and so haven't been below the maximum since I was a bean-pole teenager.
Very cool though
I could manage to go, if they'd let me fly in a pair of boxer briefs only.
Yep, I quickly converted kg to lbs, and realized my 220lbs self isn't floating away any time soon.
I powerlift and am a tall women, I'm over the limit too!
It's weird, why is the maximum weight so low? I'm lighter than Tom so it wouldn't be a problem for me at least.
@legrandliseur tri Helium provides a mere 1 gram of lift per liter of gas... very small. The envelope size is limited by the indoor space. The helium also has to lift the weight of the envelope.. which is likely heavier than the payload aka pilot
I often have dreams where I can fly like that. It would be weird to relive it in real life.
Would love to hear you break down your thought process/natural reaction as to why you weren't at all scared here, but in other situations with heights you were terrified.
he’s the reincarnation of a bird
For some reason, I am not afraid of heights when laying. Maybe he's got the same phenomenon?
The audio on this video is really excellent! Incredibly immersive, made you feel like you were actually there
This brought me joy and a little lift, just when I needed it. Superb Tom..., as always.
I’ve never seen Tom Scott this happy before. Can’t really blame him, that looks like fun!
Gotta love how proud the guy is about having zero accidents, great stuff!
That was freaking cool. I definitely want to try that!
If you ever have the opportunity to go, Bobby, I would love a video of you experiencing this! I can already imagine the punny fun you'd have. 😄
You could even make a sculpture of yourself in one of the aeroplumes out of WEWD
Wow! Really cool to see you here
I can imagine you watching this and just saying: "I wawnt to dew thayut" XD
Me too. But I would need two of these blimps. Oh, they say they have one for 270 kg. Perfect size for me!
I want that!
I cannot express enough how much I want to do this! That looks EPIC! so so so very cool!
How can you not have a great time watching someone's giddy reaction to something like this. That was a delight. :3
It makes me wanna cry to think that almost 250 years ago people would draw sketches of such machines but never could saw it come true, nor fly them. And now we can.
You always answer the never asked questions, thank you for your public service
Tom Scott: The places you've been, the things you've seen & done--you're living a dream life and are a national treasure to the U.K. I salute you, sir!
I'm surprised to see no one's talking about what good value for money this is - 60 euro is a fantastic price for a once in a lifetime thing like this. I'm going to have to try this at least once before I die, it looks so amazing.
Probably because if you're not within a day's travel by rail to France you have to factor in "vacation to France". Still a cheaper way to float around than the $8000 2 hour flight on the civilian "vomit comet" doing parabolas though.
Not once in a lifetime if you have 120 Euros :)
@David Healey 180 euroes:
@Torin Lupo You go to far, sir or madam.
If it's a fantastic price for once in a lifetime, does that mean if you go again its a ripoff
Thanks for making the video : being in a model airplanes club, I had the chance to go there for indoor piloting, but at the time the aeroplume activity was stopped, I am glad to know that it is back
I couldn't help but smile all the way through watching.
I love how he just straight up answers the question to the title, and let's his video's interest keep the watcher. Literally the opposite of clickbait
That looks like such a fun and unique experience. Found the right rabbit hole on youtube today.
Didn’t expect to wanna try this as much before watching this video. Looks peaceful, just floating around.
I really like the stark contrast between Tom freaking out about standing on a metal mesh up high, but also not freaking out about literally floating by a helium balloon. Great video as always, this is definitely now on my bucket list!
i guess it's the difference between "i can fall from this height" and "I can fly this high". I for one also have a fear of heights, but strangely enough it's because i might try to jump when I'm high up, and the fear comes when you realize you can't fly.
I mean, on a mesh you're aware that you're standing on a lot of tiny cables, you recognize the fragility of what's holding you up even though the cables could probably support 10x more than you weigh without a problem. Meanwhile, the balloon feels relatively safe because it's so large.
Same reason the edge of buildings scares the hell out of me but I can ride a roller coaster that goes twice as high just fine. It's the falling, not the heights.
So much fear is just about a feeling of control.
among the other good replies I would like to add that the balloon has a cradle - the web that supports the entire body. That provides a sense of security. When standing upright there can be a sense of " potential instability ".
Looks like a lot of fun, and Antoine is good eye-candy in his own right. :)
Wanted to do it too. 80kg limit. Quite a bit outside of that. But not impossible! I think Tom had all the fun there was to have there that day.
Just had an intrusive thought of the roof just coming off and you just flying up and out of earth aha. love your videos mate, smart fella with a good passion for understanding reality.
That looks super fun! I don't have much on my bucket list but I think I might need to add this to it
Hey i visited this place last year! When we came close to the hangar you could see it soo well in the sky, it's enormous!
And when we went inside it was even more humongous! And then to think there where 2 of them!
Without exaggeration, this seems like a lifechanging experience. Kinda like going to space.
You can see in Tom's face how much fun it is to fulfill the ancient human dream of flying like a bird. It's an experience that not even a plane can give you, since it feels less "organic" I guess.
i think that the main thing is that it's you that is making the blimp move, with your own hands. in a plane you're just pulling, pushing and pressing different instruments
it's similar to indoor skydiving in that way, though this is surprisingly much cheaper (unless you account for trave prices I suppose)
I noticed his face as well. He was having a blast.
@Tegzi safer too
I fly paramotors, and the draw to that is often times the freedom and closeness to flying like a bird. It is far closer to bird-like flight when compared to planes. This is another level
I had the chance to do this last year, it feels like scuba diving in air, super cool!
I love how he answers our most demanded question right at the start of the video
Just felt fun the whole time, thanks Tom :-)
I feel like this is definitely something already accomplished on a Japanese TV show, seeing that back in the days (the 80s to 90s) they have done too many ridiculously dangerous things just for entertainment.
i live in France , one time in vacation near this cave i saw and avertisement for these flying persons, and i thought "well that's revolutionnary" ,but i didn't understand why this were only there and only advertised in small paperd.
Now i hope this video will make Aeroplume famous !
2019 Scott: "Is the world is running out of helium? It's a valuable resource that should be treated as finite." 2022 Scott: "Watch me float in a giant helium balloon!"
Literally yesterday I was in a card factory shop in the UK and saw a sign to say they had run out of helium due to shortages and couldn't fill a party balloon! Would love to do this and a great price, way cheaper than if I'd tried to get 70,000 litres at UK card shop prices assuming they had any!
Stealing helium from the sun? Now there's an idea for a mythical heist!
@Gillsing Let's hope it won't retaliate.
@Drabkikker Uranus is a far easier source. A nuclear powered flying atmospheric liquefaction facility launching nuclear cargo rockets could get helium back to earth from there with clever application of the technology we have now (almost*). The surface gravity is actually slightly lower than Earth, and the methane can be processed into carbon fibres and plastics. The delta-v to get off the surface is about twice that of getting off earth, but the hydrogen available suits a nuclear engine well, and plastic fuel tanks can be disposable (or even fed through the engine).
*A reusable heat shield that can survive entering from orbit around Uranus is beyond us currently, but with the amount of hydrogen available bleed cooling should be able to manage it.
1) Ignoring the, shall we say, worrying safety issues, how much less hydrogen would you need to attain the same thing?
2) What was that about a fifty foot cave?
Try googling the density of helium and hydrogen and doing the math
@Neil Gupta Like I know any math
Hydrogen doesn't actually lift that much more than helium. The video simplifies it a little bit: Helium lifts ~1.114 kg / m^3 (~1.114 g / liter), meaning a 70 kg person only needs ~63,000 liters of helium to fly if you ignore the blimp gas bag, straps, wings, etc. Hydrogen, at ~1.202 kg / m^3 (1.202 g / liter), would need ~58,000 liters. That means you would need ~5,000 liters less of hydrogen.
The cave refers to a separate location that also offers the same blimp rides, look up the "Grotte de la Salamandre" if you want to see it (Clip-Share doesn't allow me to link to their website for some reason)
Also nice pfp :P
@Alex T Thank you!
Tom is so nice, answers the question in the title as soon as the video starts
This looks cool but I imagine it might be more practical to combine this idea with semi-human-powered flight. e.g. figure out how much thrust a human can generate with lightweight rotors attached to a light bicycle and make a smaller balloon that can provide enough buoyancy to offset the remainder of the weight. Perhaps with a smaller balloon and a person or people who are in good enough shape, it would be possible to use it outdoors on very nice days albeit with a tether still. Haven't done any calculations so maybe I'm way off but I'd think humans can generate a significant amount of thrust with their legs since there are some human powered flying vehicles that athletes can get off the ground without balloons.
That looks so cool, even though i'm generally not good with heights i think i could still give that a go. Shame it's so far away. Make one in Yorkshire!
If I get to France someday, this is absolutely on the list!
That looks amazing
You're gonna make one, aren't you
Build one with rc propellers so you can use it outside
make it but give it flamethrowers
@Bingus He'd defo use Hydrogen :D
as always, this is definitely now on my bucket list!
I imagine the door is closed not only because of the breeze but also to stop the otherwise irresistible urge to make a dash for the open skies.
Well this is rather hovering, in case you want to fly (like a bird) rather take a hangglider 🙂
Some shots give the impression Tom is diving in a air instead of water.
But still, what a great idea and nice video!
That just got added to the bucket list.
How come there are no outdoor races with these? A parachute for those occassional emergencies and p00f! Awesome!
That *was* incredible. This will be working it's way into my dreams. Thank you.
Tom, have you ever though about how much of a legacy you will leave behind on the internet? your videos will always resurface and trend again and again. Love what you do, brilliant.
I belive he is, in his how to be popular on the internet series he looked at that i think. Quite interesting and I'd imagine a large part of his thinking about videos
He just does such a great job of finding things worth documenting and recording them in an informative and interesting way
He's a major part of history from his two videos on voting machines alone.
All it will take is one massive solar flare to hit the earth to completely wipe out all electronics and data
@Jamie Hughes One can only hope. Maybe then Facebook would go away and people could get back to minding their own business.
Is anyone else just laughing uncontrollably watching this? I can't even explain why this is so funny to me
Thank you, Tom Scott, for asking the hard-hitting questions.
I love how he talks to Tom like one of the kids that visit😂
Been in a centrifuge (twice)
Flown with the red arrows
Ridden the vomit comet
And now he's flying with a balloon and wings.
Tom Scott: Living the Dream of Flight.
I wish all these companies would send me emails inviting me to go discover the things you do
Incentives for loosing weight:
-to be in good health
-to be in peak condition
-to feel good about yourself
-to be able to go to France and pay to pretend to be a blimp for half an hour
Incentive to *not* lose weight: pretend to be a blimp all day long!
I would rather gain muscle than pretend to be a blimp.
@Frietje Oorlog Always be the blimp you wanna be !
This looks absolutely brilliant. I need to visit this place
That would be so cool to do. My only thought would be they need a hanger 4 times the size cause those balloons are huge! :P
Haha, I have actually done the math, on a few occasions, trying to figure the feasibility of making one of these in my backyard. I had no idea this existed. I want to go!
So amazing. The weightlessness must feel so good.
Very cool experience. Thanks for sharing this.
Tom in a separate video: helium is a finite resource with only about 100 years worth left in the world
gotta enjoy it meanwhile it lasts!
If we simply strip our atmosphere by around 50% helium flight will become a lot more viable and less wasteful
@Ernst Schmidt There are much more important uses for the helium than frivolous pursuits like putting it in balloons or doing silly things like this video.
We can make more right
@Michael L There are much more important uses for your time than frivolous correction of silly strangers in the internet.
damn this thing is in france, and i didn't even know! the one inside a cave is like 1 hour away from where i live so i'm definitely going to try it! thanks a lot for this video!!! :D
I have a fixation on zeppelins, blimps and other lighter-than-air aircraft. They are fascinating.
60 euro seems very worth it for that experience. If I ever did travel abroad to France, I would have to try this if it's publicly availabile