The French Aéroplume is a real-life helium balloon for just one person, who is the pilot, passenger and motive force. Just €60 gets you half an hour's flight.
This little diversion has a long history, in aerospace technology and in science fiction.
(Albert Robida's Paris by Night airship)
This illustration is from Albert Robida's for his 1883 novel Le Vingtième Siècle, or The Twentieth Century, which describes a future vision of Paris in the 1950’s. Robida's fevered imagination described technological advancements and how they would affect the daily lives of Parisians. Here he shows a vision for the night sky above Paris, which is dotted with various types of flying machines.
Before Robida, Jules Henri Giffard, a French engineer and inventor, built the first full-size airship — a cigar-shaped, non-rigid bag that was 143 feet (44 meters) long and had a capacity of 113,000 cubic feet (3,200 cubic meters). He also built a small 3-horsepower (2.2-kilowatt) steam engine to power the three-bladed propeller.
Orion's 'Skip-to-M'Lou' Entry
'A lightning pilot possibly could land that tin toy without power and still walk away from it provided he had the skill to play Skip-to-M’Lou in and out of the atmosphere...'