Feeds

BAE's bandwidth blimp-bot takes off (indoors)

Branson balloon crony floats droid dirigible

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A British robot blimp prototype has made its first flight inside a large hangar. The company making the droid airship is run by noted aerial daredevil Per Lindstrand, famous for his ballooning sky-jinks with beardy biz tycoon Richard Branson.

BAE concept pic of its blimp offering

BAE's vision system vision

The GA22 robot blimp's inaugural liftoff took place last week at Lindstrand Technologies' factory in Oswestry, according to the Lancashire Evening Post. Lindstrand is developing the blimp under a deal with UK-headquartered arms and aerospace colossus BAE Systems plc.

"Although significantly smaller than the majority of its competitors, the GA22 can deliver the same level of performance," BAE's Richard Williams told the Post.

"The cost of flying it is lower than an equivalent conventional aircraft."

The GA22 - so called because it is 22m long - is designed to carry 150kg payloads to more than 6,000 feet. The basic Lindstrand airship is remote-controlled at present, but the plan is to add BAE technology and make it fully autonomous.

BAE see the robo-blimp carrying out various different tasks where endurance is more important than speed, particularly comms relay and surveillance. Lindstrand has already sold "the world’s first fully functional unmanned airship" to the Spanish military, who use it to carry "a classified payload" on secret surveillance missions.

Mr Lindstrand likes to try out his products himself, and has been involved in many pioneering and/or record-breaking ballooning feats, either solo or with other cloud-happy biz kingpins such as Richard Branson and the late Steve Fossett. The daring Swede is also fully qualified to pilot aeroplanes, helicopters, airships, gliders and autogyros.

The Lancashire Evening Post report, complete with video of the test float, can be read here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.