How Many Balloons to Lift a Person?

How many balloons to lift a person?: A person weighing 60 kilogrammes (132 pounds) would require 4,800 balloons to hoist them off the ground.

Many of our favourite childhood memories include balloons. Whether it’s a balloon you received at a birthday celebration and wished to treasure forever (or bust in the middle of the celebration!) like one of those enigmatic balloons that escaped your control at a theme park and took off into the air, where you chased it for kilometres before it vanished from view.

You’ve probably attended a lot of events where you could purchase these kinds of balloons, but have you ever pondered how durable they actually are? How many balloons would it take to raise you off the ground and give you the ability to fly, specifically?

Lifting Power


Gas balloons are inflated using helium gas and operate on the buoyancy principle. You’re in fine shape as long as the combined weight of the balloon and the strings is less than the air it displaces. These balloons move a certain amount of air, much like a ship does to stay above the surface of the water.

This is because helium gas floats easily because its weight is lower than that of air. There are a number of additional aspects to take into account, therefore this is not the only explanation for why balloons may fly.

Source: http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/planetary/atmospheric/balloon.html is the source of the balloon picture.

A helium-filled balloon has a 1 gramme per litre lifting force. This means that a balloon should be able to hoist a weight of no more than 10 grammes if you load it with 10 litres of helium gas. This is the maximum amount of weight a helium-filled balloon can raise.

Let’s assume for the purposes of this discussion that the balloon itself and the weight of the strings are both insignificant.

Dimensions of a Balloon


Let’s consider a spherical balloon even though a gas-filled balloon can take on a variety of configurations. An amusement park’s standard spherical balloon has a diameter of 30 centimetres (0.98 feet). This is simply a typical figure; balloons come in many other sizes. What is the capacity of this particular balloon for helium gas? Let’s figure out the balloon’s volume (or gas-holding capability).

After entering the variables, we discover that our balloon has a volume of 14130 cubic centimetres, or roughly 14 litres.

Dimensions of a Person


Think of a man who is 60 kg (132 pounds). This is 60,000 grammes in grammes. 14 times your body weight (60,000 grammes) (liters). It will total somewhere about 4,286.

Be aware that this few balloons will only barely raise you off the ground; for you to ascend into the air quickly, you’ll need close to 500 more balloons. In the end, 4,800 balloons are needed to lift a person who weighs 60 kilogrammes (132 pounds) off the ground.

The size of the balloons and the weight of the person being raised would obviously affect this number.

In other words, don’t plan on moving your home and yourself with nothing more than gas-filled balloons. Or at the very least, start stocking up on balloons since you’ll need them!