Airstar Aerospace, major partner of the Aerolifter project

Airstar Aerospace is part a consortium which includes, as technical partners, the following companies: Echoforêt, Solution F, l’ONERA (Centre français de recherche aérospatiale) and FCBA (Institut Technologique Forêt Cellulose Bois-construction Ameublement). Our goal is to develop a new clean and affordable way to do wood skidding in mountain and rugged areas.

Our solution: AéroLifter.

AeroLifter is a unique product using a system of inflated “crane”. Indeed, it is a completely innovative tethered balloon. AeroLifter is helium filled and it will be able to lift almost up to 2 tons of wood.

AéroLifter is financed at 45 % with “FUI (Fonds Unique Interministériel). It is a state labelled project which is part of the programs selected for the future transport plan of the “Nouvelle France Industrielle” (new industrial France).


Technical data

  • Volume: 5000 m3
  • Payload: 1,7 ton
  • Deployment: 1 day
  • Speed of around 10 m per second


a lifting solution cleaner and more affordable than today’s solutions (truck and helicopter)

A more affordable solution…

  • Low operational costs
  • Low maintenance

… and an ecological solution*

  • High energy performance: 85 % performance thanks to the electric engine
  • Energy recovery thanks to the wire guided system
  • Enable to cut the tree like a “clearing” which is friendliest for forests

* Compared to today’s solutions which are the transport by helicopter or by semi-trailer.


Without a pilot, the wire guided balloon works like a reversed cable car. Thanks to the helium filled envelope and fixed to a cable the balloon naturally raised to the higher point to retrieve wood logs. Then it is pulled by a winch located hundreds of meters below. It takes the balloon back to a place where wood logs can easily be road transported.