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Precision Scale

Any thoughts on the vacuum baloon idea?

Forgive me if I'm repeating any previous posts! Has anyone ever tried to measure the lifting capacity of a rigid balloon "filled" with vacuum?
#2. why does a vacuum have less lifting power than gasses such as He or H which weigh more than vacuum?

Sure. You can see it any physics classroom. The rigid balloon is a usually a glass sampling bulb:

http://www.sciencelab.com/page/S/PVAR/23724/60-199530000

It's weight is measured with a precision scale. Then it is evacuated and the weight is measured again. The difference (of a few mg or tens of mg) is the weight of the gas that has been removed. That would also be the buoyancy in air if the sampling bulb was originally filled with air.

Great to measure gas density. Totally useless as a lifting device.

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