Lindstrand Balloons Limited Hot Air Airships

HS110 Section

Lindstrand HS110

AS300 Section

Lindstrand AS300

Per Lindstrand, an aeronautical engineer who began his career in the Swedish Air Force, teamed up with fellow Swede and aeronautical engineer Hokan Colting to begin Colting Balloons in Ireland in 1976. In 1978 the company moved to Oswestry, Shropshire, England to be closer to the major European ballooning market. Hokan Colting moved to Canada to later pursue airship development, and Per took over operations of the newly-rebranded Colt Balloons.

Under the Colt flag, thermal airship developments began in earnest in 1981. The two-place 80,000 cubic foot prototype Colt AS-80 was the first of a series of pressurized thermal airships which grew to include the AS-42, AS-56, AS-80, AS-90, and AS-105.

In 1983, shortly after the untimely death of Dick Wirth, partner in Thunder Balloons, Thunder merged with Colt to become Thunder & Colt, where Per held a Managing Director position for the next decade.

Thunder & Colt continued to develop pressurized thermal airships, and the line evolved to include the completely redesigned AS-80 MkII, AS-105 MkII, and eventually AS-120 MkII. T&C built a massive 261,000-cubic-foot airship (AS-261) in 1989 for rainforest canopy research by the French group Radeau Des Cimes (official link). Click here for another informative article.

The AS-261 was designed to carry a large underslung inflatable netted "raft" which allowed researchers a perch on top of the rainforest canopy for days at a time. The six-seater gondola allowed a team of scientists to be deployed with the raft on the same trip. A 100-hp Continental aircraft engine, taken directly from a T&C GA-42 gas airship, provided propulsion.


Lindstrand Balloons Limited (LBL) was founded in December 1991, after Per's abrupt departure from T&C when he was ousted from the board of directors. Interestingly, LBL took up shop in the very same Oswestry industrial park as T&C operated.

In 1993 the first Lindstrand hot air airship was constructed, the immense AS300. At 300,000 cubic feet (8,500m3), it was, and still is, the world's largest hot air airship. It was designed and built as a replacement envelope for the T&C AS-261, and the AS300 continues in the same role to this day.

In a continuation of Lindstrand's thermal airship developments, a scaled-down version of the AS300 was introduced in 1995. It was a two-man, 110,000 cubic foot (3,125m3) ship intended solely for aerial advertising and promotion. The HS110 was type certified in the UK, and to date around 8 specimen have been constructed.