Allsopp Helikites Ltd

Unit 2, Fordingbridge Business Park, Fordingbridge, Hampshire. SP6 1BD England UK

Allsopp Helikites Limited UK Company No. 3466204 Incorporated 1993
US Government CCR Registered Supplier

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube



Desert Star Helikite in Flight


The Desert Star Helikite is designed for rough or sand-blown conditions. The helium holding inner polyurethane balloon is completely contained within a protective outer shell made from tough lightweight, maximum strength "Ultra" material, which protects the balloon from most abrasions or knocks. Desert Star Helikites fly superbly to many thousands of feet altitude and deploy and operate in appalling conditions that defeat all other aerostats of any size. They have no fragile electronics to break or ballonets to puncture. Desert Star Helikites are beautifully designed and made in to allow perfect performance without the need for fragile electronic aids. Worldwide use has confirmed the superior strength and weather capability of Helikites against all other aerostats.


Originally designed for the British and US Armies, the Desert Star Helikite is simply the toughest aerostat in the world. During weeks of US Army comparative trials in the Arizona desert, the Desert Star Helikite proved to be by far the most robust aerostat represented. All the rest were destroyed by the difficult conditions, whereas the Helikites were undamaged. Many Desert Star Helikites have been made since they were first introduced in 2005. So far none have worn out. All those used by the US and British Armies in Afghanistan are still in service, as are all those in other combat zones. Desert Star Helikites are not easy to destroy. Helikites are very small targets compared to all other aerostats and they can fly high above RPG's and even most rifle fire. If the Helikite is unlucky and does get bullet damage there is no rapid loss of gas and the Helikite flies as normal for a long time. When convenient, the Helikite will be winched down, the damage quickly repaired and the Helikite sent up again. If necessary the disposable inner balloon can be completely replaced within minutes. Being small and uncomplicated, means Helikite repairs are quick and simple. Repairing a hole in a Helikite is a lot easier than repairing a hole in a soldier.


Desert Star Helikites outperform all other similar-sized aerostats for altitude, payload weight, stability, and adverse weather survivability. Every long-term, comparative test ever undertaken has always ended up with the Helikites significantly outperforming the competition. Also, Helikites are the only practical, reliable, maritime aerostat. When they have experienced the difference, people choose Helikites.


Although originally designed for the military, Desert Star Helikites have proved to be very popular with all types of commercial and scientific customers. They carry any shape, size and type of payload very steadily, with little or no modifications. They can be made any size to suit the customer's payload weight altitude requirements. The most popular sizes are between 15m3 and 100m3, but sizes of 150m3, 200m3, or even larger, are also available.

45m3 Desert Star Helikite lifting a radio


Only one or two people are ever required to operate any size of Desert Star Helikite from any platform, anywhere, in any weather. Custom fitting for all equipment is included in the price, as is flight testing and one days training.


Desert Star Helikites have numerous special features that allow them to lift more payload in a stable manner, fly in higher winds and fly to a greater altitude. No other aerostat has this combination of advanced features. 


Zoom over each number for more information


POA - Price on application (Contact us for Details)
* Denotes estimated performance, based on net helium lift and tether weight.

Lift Performance figures are based on base-station dry conditions at sea-level “Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP)” WITHOUT TETHER and so will be predictably different in situations where STP does not apply. i.e. In hot, high, humid places or wet conditions, rain, snow, etc.

Larger Helikites can be made that will lift considerably more, Please contact us for performance details if required.

Note 1. All figures are for performance are for Imperial Standard Temperature & Pressure.

Visit The  Engineering Toolbox for details.


Note 2. Extra heat, humidity, and height reduce lift. So does simply being nearer the equator. This can be reasonably reliably calculated for the particular environmental conditions of a particular region. If in doubt, choose a Helikite with a little extra helium lift.

Note 3. These figures are based on dry Helikites. Rain, snow, dew and mist all add the weight of significantly dense water over the entire surface of a Helikite. Small Helikites may lose over 50% of their net lift. The largest Helikites may only lose 20% of their net lift due to their better surface-area-to-volume-ratio.

Note 4. These lift figures do not take into account the weight of flying line. Obviously this will be greater for longer flying lines than shorter ones, however modern Dyneema flying line is 10 times lighter than steel cable of the same strength, so flying line weight normally only becomes a significant issue for altitudes over 500ft. 

Note 5. Figures with an asterisk next to them are calculated estimates. We have never gone over 6000ft because nobody has ever asked us to, however due to the unique aerodynamic design of Helikites, it is relatively simple to reliably calculate their maximum potential altitudes.