A 23-member team of balloon artists, an eight-member
flight crew, and countless community members were needed to
launch the first ever piloted latex balloon sculpture. Nearly
20,000 animal balloons were twisted together by the hand-picked
team of artists from around the US and Canada to create the
Fantastic Flying Octopus. Several thousand people showed up
to watch the construction and launch of the craft, powered by
wind and 10,000 cubic feet of helium. Challenges to be overcome
included building the sculpture in a barn with a gravel floor
and launching in the afternoon sun, both of which are natural
enemies of balloons. Approximately 700 person hours went into
the construction of the octopus. The team completed the octopus
in 5 days, before the first balloons had a chance to deflate.
This first collaboration between pilot John
Ninomiya and artist Larry Moss was a success. The entire week-long
project, from the inflation of the first balloon through the
successful launch and landing of the sculpture and pilot can
be seen in an hour long video documentary.
View the five-minute video now.
View additional information on this project