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If You Could Fly “Up” Would You?

In 2009 Pixar Animation Studios released “Up”, a film which centered on an elderly widower named Carl Fredricksen and an earnest young Wilderness Explorer named Russell who eventually steals his affections. Most of us however will likely remember the film for the breathtaking scenes of the two co pilots flying to South America in a house suspended by helium balloons.

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In the movie, the stunt comes about as a result of Carl wanting to keep his home (threatened by eviction) as he turns his house into a makeshift airship, using thousands of helium balloons to lift it off its foundations.  Of course this was impressive imagination but surely you remember the phrase “ if you dream it, then you can do it?” – ok not so well known (uh hum) but it applies because on Saturday morning, March 5, this very scene was recreated (minus the animated copilots).  At dawn, 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 and reached an altitude of over 10,000 feet and flew for approximately one hour.  The footage will be part of a new NGC series called “HOW HARD CAN IT BE?” which will premiere in fall 2011.  If you can’t wait until fall, watch some of the exclusive footage right here.

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