We are working on another design in parallel to the magnus effect design described above. We are using principles of the Allsopp Helikites, but adding two balloons on top of each other to increase the lift from helium. We fabricated a kite out of ripstop nylon, and used rigid, lightweight hollow carbon fiber tubes for the keel spine and vertical spar. After hemming all of the edges, and sewing on pockets for the spar, we assembled the sail and keel and attached to the 36" mylar balloon with white vinyl tape. Test results with one balloon were so-so, and we determined that the addition of another helium balloon could add enough lift to stabilize support the camera. After experimenting with horizontal attachment of the two balloons, we decided that there was not enough surface area to attach the two balloons together effectively in that orientation.
The additional drag of placing the second balloon on top of the first was a big concern, but it was the only method that could safely hold the two balloons together and to the kite. We then taped the two balloon faces to one another with the same vinyl tape and Saran Wrapped around the two for additional security. After taping the sail to the bottom ballon and attaching a plastic bag kite tail, we began full-scale testing. The next steps are to create a step-by-step DIY, and continue testing with an anemometer for wind speed, and taking measurements for height and angle of the assembly. In the future, a design with a pre-made, cheap kite should be tried, but it should be noted that all of the materials for the design were purchased for under $50. Gluing to mylar is currently not an option unless materials are purchased from the UK, and while the tape is not the most aesthetically pleasing, it has withstood many outdoor tests so far and seems the most effective and lightweight option. We are beginning that step-by-step guide today, and will be posting more test results soon. For now, here are two videos; the first is of our first attempt with one balloon, and the second shows the two-balloon assembly in the snowy weather last evening.