Rc Aerial Photography
RC Aerial Photography by Tony Stott
Scene From Above Aerial Images
Half the fun of radio controlled models is operating the model as if you were actually inside it. It is such a tiny stretch to add a camera to the model and get to see it rather than just imagine it!
After most of my life playing with R/C, I only recently stumbled on this whole other dimension, and I can't imagine going back! I now have fully controllable digital cameras mounted on a small electric helicopter, an 8 metre glass fibre mast, the gondola of a quarter scale hot-air balloon, and now a high performance kite! All are also equipped with cheap spy cameras, which transmit the camera's view to the ground, so I can aim the camera with the help of a 7 inch LCD screen. All mounts have 90 degree tilt, while all but the heli also have the ability to rotate, or pan, a full 360 degrees. There is inexpensive software available which enables stitching of multiple images into a cylinder, or even a sphere, which is truly something to behold!
Why the kite as well as the balloon? In Australia, if operating commercially, any untethered aircraft (e.g. the helicopter) requires a UAV Operators Certificate from CASA, but tethered balloons or kites can be flown to 120 metres with little restriction. Believe me; the view from that height is incredible!!!
The kite is for windier days, while the balloon is for still ones. Simple really! But even the 8 metre mast can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of the image.