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Helikites Fly Across the Atlantic – Again. ​
14th February 2020. Ref: 02/20

34m3 and 250m3 Desert Star Helikites lau
250m3 Desert Star Helikite on ship in At
Extra Large V8 Motor Winch on Ship. - Co

In 2019, Desert Star Helikites were towed across the Atlantic from Rio De Janeiro to Portugal in order to measure cloud droplet formation for the German Max Planck Research Institute.


The Helikites lifted heavy laser droplet monitoring devices to over 5,000ft, high into the clouds to determine exactly how cloud droplets form. The exact mechanism for the creation of cloud droplets is not well understood. Droplet formation is a major factor in cloud cover and other weather, so understanding it is crucial for accurate weather forecasting and research into climate modelling.

The first crossing was very successful, with excellent new data acquired despite some difficult weather conditions, including very high winds. Following this success, a second crossing was funded, (which is currently traversing the Atlantic) but this time in the opposite direction: following the trade wind clouds from Portugal to Barbados.

Reports from the researchers on the ship say that outstanding results are being obtained on this second trip, as on the first, and that the Helikite is proving to be an exceptional piece of meteorological equipment.

No other type of scientific aerostat has ever managed to operate for so long, over such distant sea passages, in such high winds, in such difficult sea conditions. The ships were going at normal speed, not slowing down for Helikite operations. Not only were the Helikites flown singly, but they were sometimes ‘stacked’ one above the other to provide even more altitude whenever required. This is not possible with any other airborne platform.

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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