The Igloo Geodesic

Lindstrand Technologies, together with Igloo Vision, created the Igloo Geodesic Dome.

The 22m diameter dome creates a totally immersive 360-degree digital projection environment designed to transport your audience to an alternate world using graphics, live feed, video or animated audio visuals customised to your requirements.

The dome has had a busy year providing an amazing venue at Glastonbury, The Big Chill festival, Feest in Het Park, Brussels and IDA 360 in Plymouth. It has also been used with Sky 3D technology in London for their flagship Sky Rides event.

Lindstrand technologies - Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games

After months of bad publicity, the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games kicked off in spectacular style. Seen by over 1 billion people, a huge aerostat emerged from the darkness of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to tumultuous applause and a shower of camera flashes on Sunday 3rd October. As it rose effortlessly towards the open, clear skies of an Indian evening, the spectators marvelled at the projected images, showcasing the rich culture and history that India has to offer.

The helium filled aerostat was the brain child of Mark Fisher, the genius designer behind some of the world’s most spectacular entertainment events – Cirque du Soleil, the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony and international rock concerts. Lindstrand Technologies Ltd turned the conceptual design into reality.

LTL was approached back in January 2010 about the feasibility of making a helium filled structure which would ‘float’ above a stadium in New Delhi as part of the Opening Ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games to be held in October 2010. At the time, no-one could foresee how simply stunning this creation would become.

The aerostat became known as the ‘AeroTorus’ and was designed and built in 4 sections by using advanced fabric welding methods, perfected by Lindstrand Technologies in many of its applications. At 80 meters long by 40 meters wide and with a height of 12 meters, the ‘AeroTorus’ is the largest tethered aerostat built to date. Five kilometres of fabric were required to make the structure, whose geometry is based on the ‘torus’ – a product of two circles – and which can be seen in many common every day items such as ring doughnuts, life buoys, inner tubes of bicycles etc. Each section was designed to be joined together using zips and Dutch lacing which would ensure no separation of the sections and protect the air ballonets. A digitally printed ‘skirt’, produced by MediaCo in Manchester, depicting Indian symbolism completed the fabric creation.

The aerostat pressure was maintained using traditional methods adopted in lighter-than-air technology, i.e. the use of helium valves, pressure relief valves and ballonet fans. Over 5 kms of wiring controlled the aerostat with each torus section having its own dedicated valves and fans to regulate pressure.

The manufacture of the aerostat took place at Lindstrand’s American factory, and all the sections were completed in a 3 month time scale. They were shipped across to the UK for a full system integration and air fill test, before leaving for India. The test event was held at Rednal, a former RAF airfield near Oswestry, Shropshire. It gave LTL the opportunity to check all system parts of the aerostat and allowed time for valuable training for Team Torus who would be in Delhi, installing the aerostat in the stadium. This stage of the project involved every employee of LTL pulling and manhandling over 6 tonnes of fabric into position. Therefore it was critical for the installation team to perfect their techniques before departure in early September.

Despite issues with Customs in India, all the equipment associated with the ‘AeroTorus’ project arrived at the end of August, just as the worst monsoons in recent years hit the city. The initial installation was postponed by 1 week, to allow the Commonwealth Stadium to be filled with 600 tonnes of sand and gravel and additional covering laid over the central field of play.

LTL sent an international team of engineers out to Delhi, whose combined experience in the lighter-than-air field exceeds 100 years. Our team included electricians from Poland and Mexico, supervisors from the USA and a core team from the factory in the UK under the watchful leadership of Dave Gill, a highly experienced and time served test pilot and aerostat engineer.

The contrast between installations at Rednal, UK and in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium could not have been more stark. Delhi was awash with water, temperatures soared above 400C and the high humidity sapped every ounce of energy from the installation team.

What was a minor miracle was the time taken to fill the aerostat from liquid helium. This was originally expected to take 10 hours, but LTL improved on this time, with the assistance of Air Products, taking 6 hours for the Opening Ceremony fill and 3 hours for the Closing Ceremony fill. The coolest place in Delhi happened to be right next to the huge helium vaporisers where the temperature dropped to below -2000C – no wonder our team took turns to monitor the helium flow.

The aerostat breathed life into the stadium. From this point onwards the aerostat played a vital part in rehearsals for the two ceremonies, with the winching team practising the ascent and descent of the aerostat under the direction of the Organising Committee Creative Team.

At exactly 7pm local time in India on Sunday 3rd October, the eyes of the world turned towards New Delhi, waiting expectantly for perhaps yet another negative headline. Instead, what they got was an audio-visual feast, capable of silencing many of the Games’ worst critics, and it is in no small part thanks to Mark Fisher and Lindstrand Technologies Ltd.


The Ahmedabad Eye

Ahmedabad, largest city in the State of Gujurat in the north west of India, is now the proud owner of India’s first passenger carrying tethered aerostat – the Lindstrand HiFlyer.

The site is located near Kankaria Lake, the biggest lake in Ahmedabad (in earlier days it used to known as Qutub Hojj), where all kings, or badshah, used to bathe. With an approximate circumference of 1.4 miles (2.3 km), it represents the regale history of Ahmedabad. It is located in the southern part of the city in Maninagar area, which is the most densely populated suburb of the city. Kankaria was built by Sultan Kutubuddin in 15th century A.D. The work was completed in 1451.

After an agonising slow sea voyage and a port diversion, the goods arrived on site amid much flourish, and the hardware including the large winch and mooring winches were all installed, load tested and ready for inflation in 2 days. A record for any Lindstrand installation team!

Our team had a running battle with thunderstorm and monsoonal downpours which ensured that the inflation was one of the most difficult LTL has had from start to finish.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the long-awaited HiFlyer. Children from low income families will be given special rides on the balloon, courtesy of the AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation).

Since the opening, the Ahmedabad Eye flew 1552 passengers in a single day – a record for any Lindstrand HiFlyer.

Midnight Sun and Balmy Summer Evenings

Back in 2009, LTL did its first ever net change on a HiFlyer in situ.

The team returned in July 2010, this time to install a new envelope with sponsor artwork. The work was done during an exceptionally hot spell of weather in Sodertalje at the Tom Tits Adventure and Experiments Playhouse, an hour outside of Stockholm.

The net and envelope is operated under another manufacturer’s winch, and LTL had to apply to EASA for a major mod to their existing Type Certificate EASA.BA.005 in order to allow the Swedish authorities to issue the owners with permission to operate.

From Euope, the team then jumped continents to India.

New HiFlyer Installed in China

A new chapter in HiFlyer installations has begun in China for LTL.

LTL’s second HiFlyer in China has just been installed under new state regulations. It opened to the public on June 1st to mark International Day of Children and is located in a key tourist area of the Qujiang district in southern Xi’an (probably most famous for the Terracotta Army).

It is situated close to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda – a key cultural site and holy place for Buddhists and was used to collect Buddhist materials from India during the Tang Dynasty era.

The HiFlyer is also in close proximity to Tang Paradise which is a relatively new cultural theme park representing the tang dynasty culture and housing an area of water 49 acres in size.

Rides in the HiFlyer command breathtaking views over the city and key historical sites.

Lindstrand Promotes Inflatable Lift Bags and Fenders at ITS Convention

Lindstrand Technologies Ltd have made their first appearance at the International Tug and Salvage Convention in Vancouver, Canada from the 17th – 20th May 2010.

LTL registered as exhibitors in order to showcase their inflatable lift bags and fenders and other applications in air cell technology.

This is one of the biggest tug and salvage shows in the World and is held on a bi-annular basis. Other exhibitors included Rolls Royce Marine, Smit Engineering, John Deere & Mammoet (famous for their involvement in the raising of the Russian Submarine, the Kursk).

Inflatable Solutions for Farmers

Lindstrand Technologies Ltd based in Oswestry, Shropshire and owned by the legendary balloonist Per Lindstrand has just broadened its product line and is venturing into the agricultural market. Lindstrand Technologies Ltd has applied its expertise in air cell technology to the development of purpose built inflatable buildings for perishable crop storage. These inflatable buildings are designed so that the internal climate can be controlled.

The main benefits of these buildings include;

· Innovative new solution to crop storage/ equipment storage/ animal housing

· Cost sensitive (over 20% cheaper than a rigid structure)

· No planning permission required for a period of 6 weeks with the landowners permission.

· Roof attachments for climate control systems

· Inflated in 1-2 hours

· Easily transportable and can be relocated

· Self supporting- no need for guy wires (rigid when inflated)

· No foundations are required

· Life expectancy of 20 years in a European climate.

· Can be located next to where crops are cultivated to reduce transportation costs.

This is a product that could benefit many farmers. There is always a problem with agricultural storage space, the costs involved in providing this space and in the costs associated with transportation to the storage facility.

Lindstrand Technologies Ltd buildings are available in a variety of sizes and bespoke buildings can be manufactured to meet exact customer requirements.


Lindstrand World Cup preparations

As the Football World Cup draws ever closer, Lindstrand Technologies has delivered a third HiFlyer system to South Africa this year at the end of November.

Based at Sandton, a wealthy suburb of Johannesburg, and located adjacent to the Radisson Hotel, the Lindstrand team installed an underground HiFlyer system.

This HiFlyer is the third one to be installed for Aerial Displays, based in South Africa. This follows on from the two installations in March of this year.

The project has been sponsored by Hyundai, one of the key ‘players’ for next year’s World Cup.

The weather in Johannesburg was very unseasonal for the time of year, with lower than expected temperatures and record levels of rainfall, which had a very British impact on the site preparations. Whilst mud (and there was a lot of it) is claimed to be good for the complexion, it does make life a little difficult for a HiFlyer inflation. However, our team overcame this slight technical difficulty and had the system inflated in 4 hours using liquid helium, which can traditionally slow down an inflation. However, a ‘team’ of experts from a local helium company worked hard to ensure that the night didn’t become a long one.

The envelope is all white with Hyundai branding, shown at its best when illuminated at night. Aerial Displays now has a ‘3-man team’ of Lindstrand HiFlyers in South Africa: Montecasino, Sandton, and Maponya Mall, Soweto – all in Johannesburg.

The World Cup draw was being beamed live to the site at its press day on Friday 4th December 200


Lindstrand SkyFlyer

Launching at IAAPA Las Vegas, the ‘SkyFlyer’ is the revolutionary new tethered helium balloon produced by Lindstrand Technologies Ltd. The SkyFlyer offers customers the chance to view 360 degree scenery at a height of 120m all year round. The site size requirement for the SkyFlyer is only 12 metres diameter.

This balloon is like no other, the envelope is in the shape of an airship and has a gondola suspended below that can carry up to 16 passengers. This new balloon is attached to a ground winch that is positioned on a rotational platform. This allows the balloon to face the correct direction according to the wind pattern. The balloon can therefore fly in near gale force weather conditions up to wind speeds of 40 knots with a full passenger payload.

The SkyFlyer will offer a great new opportunity to theme parks, hotel resorts, water parks, beach fronts and many more locations.

Lindstrand Technologies Lighting The Skies

A brand new state of the art light projection system has been developed in co-operation with Igloo Vision to internally illuminate the Lindstrand HiFlyer Balloon. Following the success of the international award winning AV Dome, Lindstrand Technologies have incorporated the projection technology into the HiFlyer balloon system, creating the first aerostat to have full 360 seamless video projection.

This system will allow live television, date, time and temperature and moving advertisements to be seen from the ground. It has been developed as a video player system but also supports live feed from cameras or TV signals and RSS feeds from websites, such as news or weather reports.

It provides a unique advertising opportunity to businesses and makes the HiFlyer attraction even more spectacular.

HiFlyers have been installed worldwide and this new feature will offer a great new opportunity to theme parks, hotel resorts, water parks, beach fronts and many more locations.