GA-42 Manned Helium Airship
One of the most successful inventions of the Lindstrand team was the GA-42 airship (42,000ft³ gas filled airship). When it was first introduced back in 1980’s it broke new grounds in lighter-than-air industry making airship operations affordable to a wider customer base and suitable for pilot training. GA-42 was the first airship to use electrical fly-by-wire flight control (no mechanical connection between the side stick controller and the fin-mounted control surfaces), which considerably enhanced airship flying qualities and reduced the pilot’s workload. Currently two GA-42s are flying over Shanghai.
GA-22 Unmanned Helium Airship
In the spring of 2004 Lindstrand supplied the world’s first fully functional unmanned airship to the Ministry of Defense in Spain. This airship carried a 42 kg classified payload and its surveillance mission was also classified. Four years later this airship, which became designated the GA-22, still flies on an almost daily basis. In July 2008 the GA-22 was announced to become the latest addition to BAE Systems growing portfolio of autonomous systems, with design and production subcontracted to Lindstrand. A 22 meter long airship, perfect for deployment into roles such as communications relay stations, will be updated and adapted to carry payloads, such as high tech surveillance equipment at up to 150 kilograms in weight, to heights of more than 6,500 ft. At the moment GA-22 is radio controlled, but the plan is to make it fully autonomous.
GA-22 Test Inflation
Lindstrand conducts an indoor test inflation of the GA-22 unmanned helium airship at Cammell Laird’s. Several anchor points are provided on the envelope for the attachment of equipment such as the gondola, fins, nose ring, handling lines and pressure relief valves. The fins are attached to the envelope via a combination of straps, rigging lines and hook and loop fasteners.