Long ago and far away in my distant past – about 25 years to be exact – I had the crazy idea of learning to fly an R/C Helicopter.  I wasn’t all that interested in the R/C bits of it, my vision was to mount a camera to it and shoot aerial photography.  To carry the weight of even a small film camera (a $2 Kodak cardboard disposable in this case) the R/C Helicopter necessary was a monstrous beast.  Almost four feet long, my Cherry Red Lucite covered rube-goldberg grand prize winning contraption outfitted with servos, radios, batteries, and that horrible screeching single piston two-cycle gas motor cost me close to eight thousand dollars.

 

The four blades on the main rotor on “The Beast,” as I grew to call it, spanned close to five feet, and were fabricated from flexible Dupont Nylon®.  The tail rotor was smaller, only about a foot across.  The Dupont Nylon® brand was stamped into the several dozen chocolate-grey blades I had to replace after “The Beast” repeatedly proved Santa Fe real estate is indeed the toughest land in the West.

 

It didn’t take long to learn those five feet of fast spinning Nylon® were dangerous to myself and others on flight day.  The rear tail rotor “buzz-saw” blade convinced me the challenges of mastering “The Beast” were far beyond my skill level even without a camera.  I gave up the project in just a few months, never to complete it.

 

Move the time needle forward twenty-five years.  It’s a whole different story.  Today’s R/C Helicopters have come a long way.  For only about $2,500, if I chose a similar but smaller platform, I could replace “The Beast” with an R/C Helicopter like the one used to film the following video of Gordon College, Boston, Massachusetts.

Seeing something this well done gets me inspired and my creative juices going.  “What a story telling platform this could be!” still whispers my creative side when I see a good aerial.  Access to professional quality production tools at affordable cost has made realizing even this 25 year old dream possible – but not probable – for the time being!

 

What could you dream up if you had one of these things?

Chuck Jones

You can read more about this camera mount at The SkyCamUSA Website

Welcome to Wenham Massachusetts where you will find Gordon College. We took our little UAV down there for some close range aerial film work. Its just outside Boston MA. This video has not been stabilized in post production. Rather our copter gyro system is solely responsible for video stabilization. Enjoy.

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    About Chuck Jones

    Digital Media Producer, Photographer, Video Storyteller, Cinemagraph Master. Only Semi-Reformed Hippy. Managing Editor of http://TheCameraForum.Com

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