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Old March 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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RC Airplanes and Helicopters

I'm researching flying my 7D from an RC Helicopter. One of the people helping me invited me to the local RC airfield to watch and learn.

So here's the result of me walking around. There's no Aerial photography and its all hand held, but it was fun nonetheless.

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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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A Photographer friend of mine and an avid RC hobbyist tried it,

heres a pic of his test with a 5d mk2;

http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-...65_5517269.jpg
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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Some of the footage that people are getting with this sort of setup is amazing. Sure you can get some great shots for movies etc., but more importantly you can capture a perspective of our world that few people have ever experienced.

Its also a bit intimidating at how good at piloting these RC helicopters you have to be to get great shots. Having said that the sophistication of the aircraft has improved, gyros for all three axis of stabilization etc., and the weight and quality of the camera's [7D/550] is much better, so its definitely doable.

It's exciting to see what's possible.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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Is there a special permit thingy to fly this things? Say in the city? I haven't heard in mine, how bout you guys there in the US?

..uh.. are you in the US? just quickly added that LOL!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #5
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I was a competitive R/C pilot & instructor (both plane and heli) for about 15 years.
Flying cameras is a lot of fun but a lot of stuff to remember for your safety.

For flying the 7D with a decent lens, you will want a pretty large helicopter. Look for a gas powered NOT glow fuel. Electrics can be used but weighting them down will result in pretty short flights. A friend here flies HVX200 and similar size cameras on an electric and he gets about 7 minutes of safe flight. Another friend's gasser does about 20-25 minute flights.

Other thing is, larger helis are much more stable, with much less vibration assuming your pilot has properly built it. If the engine goes out, larger helis will autorotate much easier. Make sure to safety wire your gear to the heli frame so it doesn't become a falling object. (the 7D has a terrible glide ratio!)
You will also want to make sure the exhaust is as far from the camera as possible.

Flying in the city is a good way to get in big trouble without a permit and probably some police assistance. Some cities may not even offer a permit. R/C gear is susceptible to interference. Cities are huge vortexes of radio noise. When (not if) a problem occurs, you can easily kill or injure many people. Essentially you're flying a 20lb chunk of metal and carbon fiber that can do 70-80mph in level flight. Much faster if headed towards the ground. Make sure you have special insurance for this and your pilot will need to contact the AMA to make sure everything is legal.

Even flying out in the country, you should have special insurance setup. Essentially, anywhere that is not an AMA sanctioned flying field should be researched and verified as a safe place to fly. This way, you can control the R/C frequencies to make sure someone a couple of miles away isn't on the same channel.

Don't want to scare you off from doing it 'cause it's a really cool way to shoot but make sure all your paperwork is done before you take to the skies!


Below are pics of my non-video related toys and the last one is a friend's HUGE heli which will be turbine powered!
Attached Thumbnails
RC Airplanes and Helicopters-robs-heli-3.jpg   RC Airplanes and Helicopters-robs-heli-not.jpg  

RC Airplanes and Helicopters-extra300.jpg   RC Airplanes and Helicopters-three-planes.jpg  

RC Airplanes and Helicopters-img_0196.jpg   RC Airplanes and Helicopters-big-heli-1.jpeg  

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Old March 14th, 2010, 12:24 AM   #6
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Hey, we seem to have Touareg's and RC in common :)

I'm not as interested in becoming a great RC Heli pilot as I am "Flying" the 7D. I checked out Quadcopters [UAV's] which fly more autonomously, but they were cost prohibitive for anything that could carry enough payload.

So I'm hoping to be able to use a 700e. It's going to be a while before I'm good enough to fly a 7D though.
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