Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Up" House Really Could Fly

"How Pixar's Up House Could Really Fly"
Wired Science (May 29, 2009)

"The conceit of the new Disney/Pixar cartoon epic, Up, is that an old guy’s house gets attached to a bunch of helium balloons which lift it up out of the city and on a wonderful adventure.

"That got Wired Science thinking: Could that actually work? And if so, how many balloons would you need?

"We called Wolfe House Movers, which specializes in moving old structures and had Kendal Siegrist, a manager, take a look at the images from the movie to see how much the house might weigh.

" 'A building like that, you’d figure right around 100,000 pounds,' Siegrist said...."

The Wired Science author takes the reader through some fairly simple math, and shows that, yes: you could lift a house with balloons. It would take a whole lot of the little balloons "Up" shows - but it could be done.

The trick would be rigging supports for the house. Wood frame houses aren't designed to be lifted by their chimneys.

This article gives an interesting look at the science of "Up" - and tells a bit about how house moving works in the process.

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