The origins of Ozoneering go back 32 years. It begins with an audacious proposal to fly two open basket hot air balloons over the summit of Mt Everest, 29,028ft. One of the objectives of the adventure was to make a TV documentary. Simple to say, but how to deliver quality images and footage, with static temperatures of -30 Degrees in the jet stream at 33,000ft.
To satisfy the environmental, technical requirement, ergonomic and human factors we designed and built a unique protective camera platform from leading edge materials and fabrics of that era. This operated perfectly on every level .The cameraman’s balloon crashed in Tibet, and with camera platform still attached, was dragged for over a mile through glacial moraine and vast boulders, but the platform surpassed its specification and none of the film was lost or cameras damaged. The documentary won several international awards.
Our services were called upon again to address living space needs in the Virgin Global Challenger Capsule participating in a competition to fly around the world. The capsule was already being fitted with its avionics when we were asked to become involved. It was built with internal solid wall crossed bulkheads to give it strength, leaving 3 internal compartments that did not connect or relate to each other. Further, it was to take 3 crew with duration of 20 days, flying pressurised at 30,000ft, and unpressurised at 7,000ft. We observed that there was not enough room in two of the bulkhead segments for the crew at one time, and access to water food and storage in flight would have been impossible. Due to our experiences of living in confined spaces while Himalayan mountaineering, and climbing the big granite multi day climbs on the big walls in America and Yukon we provided a living and working routine that countered the human factor constraints and made the capsule liveable and reasonably comfortable.
2007 saw us back in the Everest region with a commission to undertake all the in-country arrangements for GKN’s Mission Everest. We managed the government permits, advised the pilots on weather, terrain, and gave environmental risk assessments. We were not involved in equipment selection, engine build or cold climate testing this was undertaken by Parajet UK.
GKN Mission Everest was followed in 2008 by the elite adventure of Himalayan skydiving from 29,500ft. This involved evaluation every aspect of conventional skydiving and assessing how equipment would perform in such thin air. It meant building a special oxygen system for high altitude parachuting and landing, including designing and testing an ergonomic face mask system. We were delighted to break new boundaries in sport aviation and acquire several world records in the process, making 72 sorties and 34 descents from 29,500ft.
In 2010 Ozoneering gathered a team of specialists to build an unmanned high altitude solar powered long endurance aircraft as we could see the rapidly emerging civilian use for such remote piloted platforms. This became the leading edge Ascenta™ HALE UAV that was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for their global connectivity programme. See these videos: here, here, here and here.
2016 saw the foundation work, design concept, and structural innovation for the Pouncer™ humanitarian aid UAV project to build an inexpensive disposable unmanned aircraft that can deliver food into conflict and disaster areas accurately. Some of the components of airframe are also to be edible. This led to the founding of Windhorse Aerospace Limited.
Over the last four years Ozoneering has collaborated on the development of a cost-effective passenger spacecraft solution, a rapid acclimatisation programme for high altitude mountaineering and skydiving, and the design of a high speed drogue chute termination system.
The humanitarian “primary shock” food and nutraceutical programme continues development.