Flight demonstration of PADD Midi airship at SASE, Manali.

 Dr. Pant selected for the LTA technical committee of AIAA as an International Member

 Field trials of E-GIFT aerostat project (Report, Pic-01, Pic-02) .

 Dr. Pant has been invited to be a member of the High Level Committee of Stratospheric Airships constituted by DST

 IIT-Bombay's LTA activity appears in Jane's All The World's Aircraft.



The Programme on Airship Design and Development (PADD) was launched at IIT Bombay in 2001, with team members drawn from various national aerospace organizations and private sector companies in India. PADD aims at developing airship technology in India for various scientific and commercial applications for various roles such as aerial surveillance, disaster management, and advertisement & product promotion. In the first phase of PADD, conceptual design studies of airships for transportation of goods and passengers over mountainous terrain under 'hot and high' conditions were carried out. Techno-economic feasibility of leasing airships for operation in India was investigated, and a Project Definition Report for development of two types of airship was proposed in future phases: the PADD Demo and the PADD PaxCargo.


This study project was sponsored by Technology Information Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), and was completed in 2003. As part of this study, two remotely controlled airships, the PADD Micro (with a payload capacity of 1.0 kg) and PADD Mini (with a payload capacity of 3.5 kg) were designed and developed. The list of the tasks carried out in this project can be found here.


The PADD team was invited to carry out a flight demonstration of these airships at the 90th Indian Science Congress at Bangalore in 2003. These airships have also been demonstrated at other locations in the country, such as Gliding Center, Pune, and Park College of Engineering & Technology, Coimbatore.


In 2004, a Lighter-Than-Air (LTA) Systems Laboratory was set up in the Aerospace Engineering Department of IIT Bombay, in which many R&D and technology development projects related to design, analysis, fabrication and testing of LTA systems have been carried out. Details of these projects are available here

India's First Remotely Controlled Airship, IIT Bombay Gymkhana Ground, January 2002

Photographs from the Flight demonstration of PADD Midi Airship at SASE, Manali.

Click to enlarge the photographs (More here)

Prof. R. S. Pant



R & D Projects


RC Airships



PADD on Web




Project Title


Sizing and Optimization of High Altitude Airship Platform

2008 onwards

Conceptual Design of unmanned aerial vehicle for operation at High Altitudes

2008 onwards

Design of Aerostat for Aerial Observation at SASE, Manali


Pre feasibility study of powered Hot Air Balloon for Multipoint River Ferry

2006 onwards (in association with NAL Bangalore)

Long Distance Wireless Communication for rural connectivity using a tethered Aerostat


Dynamic Neural Networks and its hardware implementation for control of an airship


Multi-disciplinary Shape Optimization of Aerostat Envelopes


Feasibility study of Stratospheric Airships as a High Altitude Platform for High Integrity Psuedolite Based precision Navigation System


Photo Gallery