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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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Steadicam Flyer (not LE) max load?

I was doing some work on a show this week with my Pro II rig and they had a guy there doing some behind the scenes work flying a 2nd gen Steadicam Flyer / RED One combo, and not a stripped down RED either.

I asked him what kind of sled weight he was running, and he answered about 28 lbs., and that he does it all the time, even going an extra three of four pounds at times. The bones pretty much never hit full horizontal so the arm was definitely not overloaded (don't know about the gimbal though).

I have a 2nd (or 3rd gen) Flyer, one of the last built before they replaced it with the LE, and was wondering if anybody else here has ever loaded a Flyer with that kind of weight on a regular basis and what the downside was (if any)?

I am been very anal about keeping my Flyer sled weight at about, or under 20 lbs.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Was that Brian Freesh operating? He's famous for loading down his Flyer. :-)

Here's what Peter Abraham has told me re: the 2nd gen Flyer:

1. The arms varied in their ability to lift more than the 15 nominal pounds. Most, particularly later ones, could handle 20+ pounds.

2. The gimbal definitely can get overloaded, and unfortunately the symptom could be sudden gimbal failure (cracked bearings).

I tested my Flyer by loading it up with an HPX3000 (didn't have a scale to weigh it with but I am sure it was over 20 lbs). The arm held, but I also noticed that it put a lot of stress on the top stage, causing or contributing to some loosening of some screws that resulted in some shifting of the camera on the plate. I believe I had one Hytron 150 and a Hytron 50 as bottom weight.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 06:26 AM   #3
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Enzo, next time if you ever get a chance, ask the guy to take a pic of his setup. I'm curious to see what it looks like.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Stage load.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Schlicher View Post
Was that Brian Freesh operating? He's famous for loading down his Flyer. :-)

I tested my Flyer by loading it up with an HPX3000 (didn't have a scale to weigh it with but I am sure it was over 20 lbs). The arm held, but I also noticed that it put a lot of stress on the top stage, causing or contributing to some loosening of some screws that resulted in some shifting of the camera on the plate. I believe I had one Hytron 150 and a Hytron 50 as bottom weight.
Mark, no his first name was Jim. Thanks for the input on the later arms.

When you say the bolts came loose on the stage, are you talking about the main attachment bolts (the Allen bolts that hold the stage to the post?). I usually carry a ProVid as a backup and have noticed that after a while, those stage bolts will become loose (just from the vibration of traveling).

I am going to have to start using my Flyer a little more than I have in the past. If only it had a P43 monitor :)

I like the Flyer arm a lot, it's very much like my Pro arm in the way it moves. BTW, I did also try out an LE, but it's strange that the LE likes to be at, or near max load to fly well. The regular Flyer has a more forgiving weight range. But I do like the new LE post.

Charles, I'm not working that show next week (as far as I know they shot out the Steadicam shots they needed), but if I see him again sometime, and have a few, I will ask him if I can take a pic or two of his rig.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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If you remove the camera dovetail from the top stage and look down on the stage, there are two hex head bolts that are toward the back of the stage. I noticed these had worked there way loose. These screw into a crossbar thingy.

The hex bolts had come loose but when I tightened them there was still some play. So I removed the bolts and the top half of the topstage and I could see that the crossbar thingy has a couple of recessed "set screws" that can be slightly adjusted to take up the slack, so I did, reassembled, and all was tight.

Now I check all of my screws for tightness regularly.
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Old November 22nd, 2009, 11:24 PM   #6
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Enzo:

Agreed on the Flyer arm, it does have a similar feel to the Pro arm, doesn't it? Amazing considering the size and simplicity of design. Incidentally I had mine modified so that it is compatible with the standard socket block and 5/8" armposts--it can be reverted back to the original ends in minutes if necessary. The nice thing is that I can swap between components of my full-size rig and this lightweight one (Nimblecam) as needed, i.e. I can use either PRO or Klassen vests with both rigs, and either the PRO or Flyer arm.

Nimblecam pix here.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Charles,

GREAT idea!

And with the new quick release socket pin section on the Flyer LE arm, it's a "Gotta do it!" kind of mod.

Thanks for the tip!
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Last edited by Enzo Giobbé; December 27th, 2009 at 11:50 AM. Reason: text
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Old February 25th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Schlicher View Post
Was that Brian Freesh operating? He's famous for loading down his Flyer. :-)
Hey, at least I'm famous for something! In my defense, I only ever overload it so much. I'm always the one shaking his finger at the other Flyer ops for thinking they're safe with anything within the arm's weight limit!

Quote:
I was doing some work on a show this week with my Pro II rig and they had a guy there doing some behind the scenes work flying a 2nd gen Steadicam Flyer / RED One combo, and not a stripped down RED either.

I asked him what kind of sled weight he was running, and he answered about 28 lbs., and that he does it all the time, even going an extra three of four pounds at times. The bones pretty much never hit full horizontal so the arm was definitely not overloaded (don't know about the gimbal though).

I have a 2nd (or 3rd gen) Flyer, one of the last built before they replaced it with the LE, and was wondering if anybody else here has ever loaded a Flyer with that kind of weight on a regular basis and what the downside was (if any)?

I am been very anal about keeping my Flyer sled weight at about, or under 20 lbs.
When you say "Sled weight" are you counting, camera, batteries, and the sled itself? If so, 28lbs isn't all that unreasonable. 4.5 for the sled, and 3 for the batteries (probably a bit more) means his camera was about 20.5 lbs, which is certainly heavier than one should do on a 2nd gen Flyer, but is about the most I might ever risk. If his arm is like mine (and several others I know about, including Charles'), it's capable pf another 4lbs before starting to sag, so his story fits with everything I know at least.

Also, if the above is your definition of sled weight, your 20lbs is actually over-doing it. Cause that means that with batteries, your total payload is 15.5lbs, when you really only need to keep the camera at or below 15 lbs! I'll admit though, I always include the batteries in my weight limit too, to make sure I'm within tolerances. But honestly my general rule is that camera + battery weight is no more than 20lbs (though I let myself dip into 21 sometimes) so you could fly with an additional 4.5 lbs in that case. My power splitter and upgraded cable loses me about .5 lb though!

Happy flying! Better to under-load than over-load!
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Old February 26th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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Hey Bran, got a pic of your outragious setup with the RED? :)
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Old February 27th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #10
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Well, I certainly wouldn't call it outrageous... It's actually only a couple lbs over the 2nd gen weight limit, and within the LE's weight limit. See below. I've also done it with a clip-on mattebox and wireless transmitter, but the pictures I took were lost.

Sounds like this fellow, Jim, has done some hefty Flyer loads though!

Hmm... I dunno how to upload a picture on this forum... But like I said, nothing impressive.
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Old February 27th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Freesh View Post
Well, I certainly wouldn't call it outrageous... It's actually only a couple lbs over the 2nd gen weight limit, and within the LE's weight limit. See below. I've also done it with a clip-on mattebox and wireless transmitter, but the pictures I took were lost.

Sounds like this fellow, Jim, has done some hefty Flyer loads though!

Hmm... I dunno how to upload a picture on this forum... But like I said, nothing impressive.
I do not think you can upload pics hereä You'll have to link it from another server. Here's my email: hbsking@gmail.com
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