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HomeAircraftHelicopterAerial Photography and Video › want to start doing AP - questions
10-21-2009 02:56 AM  8 years agoPost 1
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

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Hello all, I have been interested in doing AP for a while, and thought I would get some suggestions on equipment. Is there a recommended setup to get started? I was thinking of doing just photos to start. I only have airplanes flying right now. I had to sell my helis last year, so I am open to all suggestions on helis, and other equipment like mounts and cameras. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Eric

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-21-2009 03:36 AM  8 years agoPost 2
pseudonymrrApprentice - Edmonton, Alberta - My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

oh man... you are embarking on an adventure! So here are the main areas that you will have to think about.

Airframe: Gasser, Electric or crazy

This is a big one. You need to figure out if you want to go gas or electric. Gassers have vibration issues unless they are using a twin (Bergen Observer Twin and Industrial Twin as well as the Copterworks offering), but are the best if you need long flight times. Think still photography, inspection work, insurance work etc. If you are wanting to do film, well then you will want to go for the electric option for the smooth flight characteristics.

You could also go for a turbine like this one from http://skyreel.com:

that is a MOBB MovieCAT. In North America they are called VAIRO. Here is the manufacture page:

http://www.modellbau-bremer.de/heli...atts/index.html

you can also get them at http://variocanada.com or East Coast Helicopters.

Camera Mounts: front mounted or underslung.

This is a big choice as it also effects your airframe choice. By far the easiest and solution is to go for a underslung mount. This however brings the dreaded pendulum issue. Not to mention that you have to be very careful that your rotor head RPM doesn't create a resonance with the vibration cancilation equiptment (IE Shocks) on the mount itself. This makes the pendulium issue even worse. Lots of choices in this market. RR has more than a few companies advertising for these kinds of mounts.

Front mounted is proibily the best way to go, but it requires a dedicated camera ship and you will defininatly have to do some modifications in order to carry that weight up front. Some manufactures of mounts also make lower frames that make for a more plug and replace type experience. The Joker Maxi seems to be a very popular platform, but you can find lower frame sets for TREXes as well.

Camera Mounts: How many Axis?

After you have figured out if you want a front mounted or underslung setup, you need to decide how many axis you need for your camera. Minimal would be two, but more and more manufacturers are including roll as well. It isn't just the mount you will want either. You will need some sort of stablization for the camera mount so that it stays stationary while the heli gets blown around.

Stabilization

This is a pricey little bit of kit, but very nessisary. DJI makes a great system as does Helicommand. You want a way to have your bird hover and stay staionary. Unless you can dead hover a heli at 400' for 20 min, you will definatly want to get some sort of stablization. This is, by far, to wide a topic to cover in a post. There are many many ways to acomplish this, and advantages and disadvantages to each one. Some other offerings are WeControll from Viking Areospace, UNAV and MicroPilot.

Downlink and payload control

The chances of you getting approval for a single man opperation and legally fly are between nil and nothing. It just isn't going to happen, so you need to have a payload opperator and some sort of downlink and control system. For a stil camera you can get mounts that will mount on the eyepice and fits a small camera so that you can get vision. You can also get a board that fits to Cannon cameras that will allow you to control the camera from an Radio transmitter. Again, there are more than a few companies that offer these. Downlinks are a very complicated issue, probibly for another forum. You will have to decide what frequency you want to transmit on and if you want a base station etc etc.

LEGAL ISSUES

Oh the fun fun fun of this one. I really don't want to start a flame war, but search here on RR and you will find long long threads about this issue. Basicly, unless things have changed in the past few months, if you are in the US, you can't really do AP with UAVs. From my understanding, it requires a permit and there is no body or organization that grants them (Think the Marijiana Tax Stamps early this centruy). So if you put a heli up, you may be liable. Anyone know if this situation has changed? How goes the class action??

In Canada we are slightly more lucky. You will still need a certificate, but you can get one from Transport Canada. However, getting one is NOT easy and you need a new one for each and EVERY flight you take for money. On top of that, you will need to insure that you can meet the "Detect and Avoid" pervisions, which require spotters. You will also need to file a flight plan, saftey plan and insure that all opperators are properly trained. You can download the entire specification that you will need to meet online. Here is an overview page:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/civilaviation/g...ochures/uav.htm

As an UAV opperator under the weight limit and opperating at under 400', you will only have to fill out the "Short Form"... it isn't that short, but at least it isn't a book like the full application. Honestly expect to have to attend at least ground school so that you will know your way around an airport and the rules and regs invloved. Also, my reading is that you absolutly MUST have a failsafe option, so systems like the DJI or the new Helicommand aren't optional.

Hope that helps! If you have more questions I would be happy to help. I am about 50% of the way through the entire process.

~m

unspelling the world one misprint at a time.

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10-21-2009 03:48 AM  8 years agoPost 3
Seablade

rrKey Veteran

earth

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Erich,
As you can see, there is lots of things to consider!
At the risk of turning you off by answering your question by "telling you to go do a search"
what you need to do is go through the forum copying and pasting info you find that gets your attention to make your own "bible" for reference.

What kind of airplanes do you have now?

"Vini, Vidi, Velcro"

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10-21-2009 11:21 AM  8 years agoPost 4
theslayer

rrApprentice

Munich-Germany

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Hey Mark Ryder, can we pin "Pseudonym"'s Post to the top? Great post there for all beginners...

Otherwise, all i can tell you is do what i did: start at the back of this subforum, take a month and crossread all sorts of threads (i read 400 pages worth of runryder threads) and a lot will be clearer to you then...

Daniel

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10-21-2009 10:44 PM  8 years agoPost 5
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Hey Mark Ryder, can we pin "Pseudonym"'s Post to the top? Great post there for all beginners...

Otherwise, all i can tell you is do what i did: start at the back of this subforum, take a month and crossread all sorts of threads (i read 400 pages worth of runryder threads) and a lot will be clearer to you then...

Daniel
I started reading through the first 7 pages and ended up with more questions.

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-21-2009 10:48 PM  8 years agoPost 6
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Seablade - I fly a 35% Godfrey Extra 300, a 30% Dietrich Extra 260, and a 25% Fliton Extra 300. They have DL 100, DL50, and DL30 respectively. I like gas engines if you couldn't tell. I did not know if you should have a gas heli for AP work or what size to start with. I am not a huge fan of electrics, but if that is the best way to go then I might have to look there. Time to dig a little further I guess.

Thanks, Eric

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-21-2009 11:04 PM  8 years agoPost 7
iskoos

rrKey Veteran

Orlando, FL

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Eric, You are really lucky!.. to find a patient member (pseudonym) to sit down and write a long answer for you.
You may not find everything in his post but believe me getting a long answer to your type of question is generally not the case

So be happy...

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10-22-2009 02:13 AM  8 years agoPost 8
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

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I am very happy, and many thanks to pseudonym. Lots to take in and think about.

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-23-2009 10:54 AM  8 years agoPost 9
pseudonym

rrApprentice

Edmonton, Alberta

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wow! Thanks for all the positive comments! I am really bowled over..

Anyhow, if you want to pin it by all means, please do! Tomorrow I will correct the spelling and add in some links. I also completely forgot to mention insurance!

Thanks again guys! That is awsome =).

unspelling the world one misprint at a time.

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10-24-2009 03:25 AM  8 years agoPost 10
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

Thank you for all of the info. It is a great help.

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-24-2009 03:27 AM  8 years agoPost 11
erichelipilot

rrApprentice

Worthing, SD USA

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

If you do a ship with a movie camera, can you usually capture an image and make it a picture? If that is the case, then it makes more sense to get a good HD camera and just make pictures from that.

I suppose it would depend on the editing software that a person has.

_________________________________________________________ Love my Evo!!

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10-24-2009 01:12 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Steveact1

rrApprentice

USA

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If you do a ship with a movie camera, can you usually capture an image and make it a picture?

You can take a freeze frame from a video and use it as a still, but keep in mind, video (NTSC) is only 720 x 480 pixels at 72 DPI (dots per inch). That is pretty low resolution if you need to have a picture of any size. You can generally get away with a small picture made from a freeze frame that is a couple inches wide...if you expand it much larger, you'll see a degradation of the image and the picture will appear grainy.

If you're shooting HD, here is a chart that is helpful in determining resolution:

720p
1280×720 1248×702
Clean Aperture 876,096 0.9 16:9

1080p
1920×1080 1888×1062
Clean aperture 2,001,280 2.0 16:9

1080i
1920×1080 1440×1080
HDCAM/HDV 1,555,200 1.6 4:3

So the better the original video image you have, the better your final result will be.

On the other hand, still cameras will give you a MUCH higher resolution. Many of the current digital SLR stills can be blown up to poster size with very little degradation.

So, it's a matter of convenience and application. If you're already doing video AP, and if your end product is going to be on a website, you generally can get away with freeze frames, but if you're going to print, you should go with an actual still camera...regardless of whether you're shooting HD or not.

Hope this helps!

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10-26-2009 06:14 AM  8 years agoPost 13
pseudonym

rrApprentice

Edmonton, Alberta

My Posts: All  Forum  Topic

I don't think I would go out and get a HD camera except as a test device. Honestly, it isn't practical to own the kind of camera that you will need. Think something along the lines of a RED Digital camera. I think the best idea is to insure that your camera ship is able to carry whatever camera your client wants. The client should be responcible for providing (ussually renting) a camera and should sign a document that waves your responcibility for damage in the event of a crash (These are 10k+ devices after all!).

In the end it depends on what you need to do. If you are doing in-place inspections of things like cranes, then a standard camera should be fine and you can use captures for what is needed. Same goes with crop inspection and other "Live" feed applications. The fact is that the resolution comming back to the base station is going to be the limiting factor in these situations and it isn't nessisary to go much beyond that resolution. For doing actual flim projects.. they should provide the camera and their insurance would cover the risk.

Myself, I am looking at a still camera for personal and demo use as well as things like stock loss confirmation. I will likly get a HD camera, but I am not going to break the bank, so I would be unlikly to get very good captures from it. The lens quality on my DSLR is quite a bit better in any event. I am also going to make sure that I can mount a RED or similar professional quality digital HD Camera so that my options are open.

unspelling the world one misprint at a time.

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10-30-2009 12:33 AM  8 years agoPost 14
cranester

rrKey Veteran

Bogota, Colombia

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Thanks Pseudo, great posts!

Juan Crane

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