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Relief for Rhino Rangers as ‘Blackeyes’ Hunts the Poachers
October 2014. Ref: PR3-2014


Allsopp Helikites Ltd has modified its Taliban-fighting aerostats for use against ruthless rhino poachers in Africa.

The revolutionary new ‘Blackeyes’ Helikites can permanently hover hundreds of feet above game reserves day and night, detecting poachers over many square kilometres in all directions, even in pitch darkness.


It is silent and invisible at night.


When the poachers are spotted, ‘Blackeyes’ can then move and chase the poachers for miles over the bush, monitoring them constantly from the air until they are caught.


Helikites are a new type of all-weather, lighter-than-air, persistent, tethered aircraft. They are novel because they are the only highly stable aerostats in the world that are pushed up by both helium and by the wind. This means that even tiny Helikites can lift useful payloads to great altitude, whilst being very weather-survivable.


The ‘Blackeyes’ system is a combination of an 8-foot long Helikite and the latest radio-controlled pan/tilt thermal imaging video camera technology. It also includes a ground station, video monitors, a tough Helikite winch, flying line, and a special multi-platform launch pad. ‘Blackeyes’ is highly effective at protecting isolated farmsteads, ranger outposts, and game animals from poachers, thieves, and kidnappers.

Unlike the huge, familiar aerostats that can cost millions of dollars and require a large team of operators, Helikites only ever needs one person to fly them and are the same cost to buy and run as a farm pick-up truck. Helikites instantly deploy and fly in worse weathers than any other aerostat, of any size, anywhere in the world.

‘Blackeyes’ Helikites can fly from a field, trailer, rooftop, or pick-up truck. Helikites fly unattended, automatically up to 1000ft as required and can be easily and reliably towed at speed by a vehicle or a boat. They cope with rain, wind, dust, and sandstorms.

Night and day, ‘Blackeyes’ streams wireless, real-time aerial video over long distances to numerous handy, high-resolution monitors in the headquarters buildings, tourist lodges, vehicles, and even into the ranger’s hands whilst patrolling on foot.

‘Blackeyes’ is not just a temporary relief from poachers. The whole ethos of this revolutionary system is that it is affordable for any game farmer to fly permanently over his property – indefinitely. Instead of only part of a reserve being protected occasionally, ‘Blackeyes’ can protect an entire reserve –all the time.

The cost of replacing just one rhino would buy 100 years of constant ‘Blackeyes’ surveillance. This means that for game farms who presently lose one rhino per year, an effective ‘Blackeyes’ system could pay for itself within 24 days.

‘Blackeyes’ is capable enough to be a significant force against game poaching of all
types and if used in force, could help save some species from their imminent extinction.

About Allsopp Helikites Limited

Allsopp Helikites Ltd is a designer and manufacturer of advanced lighter-than-air, miniature, all-weather aerostat systems. The company delivers a full range of products including Helikite aerostats, Helibases, Helikite winches, flying line, video surveillance cameras, aerial photographic equipment, radio-relay systems, Jungle Marker Helikites, balloon cut-down devices, helium, and aerostat trailers. Allsopp Helikites Ltd is a privately owned SME operating from its aerostat test flying base in Dorset, England.

For further information or photographic images please contact:

Sandy Allsopp, Allsopp Helikites Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)01425 654 967


Issued by:

Allsopp Helikites Ltd, Unit 1&2 Fordingbridge Business Park, Ashford Rd, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6  1BD, England.
Tel: +44 (0)01425 654 967 E-mail:

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