EXCEPTIONAL AERIAL PLATFORMS
Helikites are by far the most inexpensive and reliable airborne platforms in the world.
Competing airborne platforms such as aircraft, balloon, blimps, kites, helicopters, or UAVs are either very unreliable in difficult weather conditions, or up to 200 times more expensive to operate per hour.
Lifting things into the air for short periods of time can be done quite easily with aircraft other than Helikites. However, staying in the air for a few minutes or hours is completely different to staying in the air for days or weeks.
The reason for this?
When an aircraft is in the air for a short period of time, unusual events such as extreme weather or wear seldom occur, so these aircraft find themselves unable to cope with these events when they eventually do happen. Long-term, unusual events become inevitable and then these short-term airborne platforms crash. Helikites are massively over-engineered to cope with unusual airborne events. Therefore, they can fly through them unscathed.
Here’s a case study.
The US Army did comparative trials on aerostats for use in Afghanistan and flew them for weeks in the Arizona desert. During the trials, dust devils went through the aerostats’ positions, destroying all the aerostats except the Helikites. They flew through them undamaged.
As such, the Helikites were picked by the Rapid Equipping Force for use in Afghanistan. Dust devils are not common, but if aircraft are flying over long enough periods of time in hot districts, contact is inevitable sooner or later.
Helikites are exceptionally steady in flight compared to any other aircraft. This is critical for lifting cameras and radios where the position of the lens and the antenna is significant. Helikites have custom mounts for cameras, weather sensors, radios, and antennas to ensure strong and safe attachment to the aircraft. Other aerostats often only dangle cameras from cords – not steady or safe.
LIFTING CAMERAS & SENSORS
Thanks to their stability compared to other aerostats and blimps, many people buy Helikites to lift cameras into the sky.
Cameras need to be kept:
in the correct position to give all round vision
at the correct horizontal attitude
Most other aerostat designs subject their cameras to being dangled on the ends of loose lines hanging below the aerostat. This is not good enough, especially in high winds, because loose lines cannot keep payload steady enough. Unsteady cameras give very poor performance and may upset the flight of the aerostat.
Cameras need to be kept steady whilst also having a good field of view below the Helikite. They must also not interfere with the safe ground handling of the aerostat.
Allsopp Helikites Ltd. has designed a revolutionary new, solid and reliable airborne camera attachment system for still and video cameras. Cameras are not left dangling in the air, but instead are bolted firmly to a strong monopod on the stiffened keel. An excellent ‘Steady-Cam’ Damped Pendulum Mount can be attached to the monopod to keep cameras automatically in line with the horizon. These camera attachment systems allow the camera a 360-degree view of the ground whilst not compromising the steady flight of the Helikite, even in high winds. Ground handling is safe, and expensive cameras are protected from the ground during launch and recovery.
For more information, visit www.easyaerialphotography.com
Stiff Carbon-Fibre Rods – Provides solid mounting points, reduces vibration and swaying.
Strong Aluminium Bar Monopod – Stiff camera mount easily detachable from carbon-fibre rods.
Damped Pendulum Camera Mount – Allows camera to smoothly hold itself horizontal with the horizon.
Excellent 360 degree view of the ground for the camera.
Lightweight cameras can also be placed with care around the circumference of the balloon to give all round vision if required. Allsopp Helikites Ltd. also have proprietary methods of placing cameras on the flying line, which is sometimes useful.
Sensors such as wind meters and radar can be attached in the same way as cameras.
LIFTING RADIOS, ANTENNAS & POWER
Radio-relay trials have consistently shown that Helikites are by far the most persistent and reliable airborne radio relay platform in the world.
This is not just due to their excellent flying performance, but also due to the ease at which radios, batteries and antennas can be steadily positioned to give optimum propagation and reception of high bandwidth digital radio – both at altitude and attitude. Helikites are hugely sensitive interceptors of radio traffic and outstanding at propagating clear and powerful radio signals over the horizon.
Helikites also are excellent at holding radios in the best position for the most effective jamming of air, ground, and satellite radio signals. Fibre-optic cables running up the line facilitate the operation of high-altitude active radar and passive sensors that give over 100 miles range. When required, Helikites can rapidly, easily, and permanently dominate much of the electro-magnetic radio spectrum within their line of sight.
Webbing straps secure radio, radar, and electronic payloads and keep them safe and dry in the space between the kite and the balloon cover. Even heavy payloads cause no instability in this position.
Antennas that are lightweight can be attached almost anywhere. Behind the balloon is generally the most convenient for electronics and for radar domes or radar reflectors.
It is important to note that, due to its natural stern heavy displacement, the angle of attitude of a Helikite is the same with or without wind. This feature is extremely useful for radio relay operations, as it ensures that antennas are kept vertical – whatever the weather.
This is the reason that Helikites outperform all other small aerostats, UAVs, manned aircraft and even tall masts in radio-propagation and reception performance.
Powerful lithium batteries are held in a pouch at the top of the keel, where they are easily accessible for quick changes.
Power can be run up the flying line if required.