Thermal airships are designed primarily for the aerial advertising market and include a stainless steel gondola construction. In 1970s the Lindstrand team was the first to build a Type Certified pressurised thermal airship. Since then over 100 thermal airships have been produced by the Lindstrand Team. The Rotax 582 UL engine provides high performance and reliability and our pressurized envelope can be adapted for night flight with internal illumination for the ultimate in advertising impact. Because hot air has only a third of the lift of helium thermal airships are very large for a given payload. However they are very impressive vehicles to look at and are a fantastic flying billboard as it has a surface area of about 1,500 sq.ft. The envelope can carry artwork directly on the hull or by the use of banners that can be removed or replaced in less than one hour.
AS-300 Manned Thermal Airship
The most unique thermal airship was constructed for French botanists in 1993. The AS-300 is the world’s largest thermal airship (300,000 cubic foot) and has an underslung raft, which is positioned by the airship on top of the tree canopies in the rain forest. The raft is detached from the airship and the botanists can now carry the research without damage to the rainforest. When the research is finished at a given location the airship will return and pick up the raft and the scientist and go to a new location to investigate.
HS-110/120 Manned Thermal Airship
The HS-110 is a new development in hot air airship technology. While the design of the HS-110 borrows heavily from past experience, the ship is designed using the latest computer-aided design technology. A lot of the features on the HS-110 were first tried on the enormous AS-300 airship; however, the HS-110 was built solely for advertising purposes and therefore could be optimised for low maintenance and ease of handling both in the air and on the ground.
The airship consists of two major components, the envelope and the gondola. These two components are interchangeable, in that a new envelope can be fitted to the existing gondola. The envelope is completely non-rigid and is manufactured from high tenacity polyamide fabric which been specially developed for the airship and is extremely durable. The envelope can carry artwork directly on the hull or on three banners, two on each side and one under the chin. These banners can be changed in under an hour. The gondola can comfortably seat one pilot plus co-pilot in a side-by-side configuration, and most of the controls are between the two seats instilling pilot confidence and making flying instruction straightforward. Standard fuel carried is 80kgs (180 lbs), which gives up to two hours flight duration. The main propulsion engine is a two-cylinder, 64hp, vertical in-line aircraft engine that drives a four blade, composite propeller giving the ship a top speed of 20kts. As the ship’s task is to be seen over a specified area, normally it is orbiting at a much reduced power setting at around 10-12kts airspeed.