David Blaine pulls off his latest stunt
David Blaine has done what man thought no one could do. He was lifted up into the air using a bunch of balloons and floated over the Arizona desert on Wednesday. Holding onto about 50 helium balloons, the illusionist titled his latest stunt, titled “Ascension,” and it is his most ambitious feat yet.
“Every single stunt that I’ve ever done is about endurance and pushing past what I thought would be possible,” Blaine said in a video before the performance. “I can’t imagine that many people would dream of doing it.”
The event was live-streamed on YouTube and began on Wednesday morning. The performance took about an hour, including lift and landing. Blaine’s initial goal was to reach an altitude of about 18,000 feet. Instead, he ended up floating 24,900 feet before skydiving and parachuting back to the ground.
Flying by hanging onto helium balloons is not a new concept. In fact, it has been attempted before. A man named Larry Walters, aka Lawnchair Larry, made a 45-minute flight in a homemade airship made out of an ordinary patio chair strapped to 45 helium-filled weather balloons.
The aircraft rose to an altitude of over 15,000 feet and floated near Los Angeles International Airport, violating controlled airspace. Walter’s aircraft became entangled in power lines, but he was able to climb down to safety in the end. In 2017, a man named Tom Morgan flew 15.5 miles across South Africa last week, reaching heights of up to 8,000 feet.
Part of The Adventurists, an adventure company based in Bristol, England, Morgan planned the first-ever competitive helium balloon race in Africa. To prepare, he decided to conduct a few tests. His results were floating for two hours before lowering himself back down.
By: Maytinee Kramer