/ Rc helicopter for filming: options pleases?
Anyone got any better suggestions, cost not an issue.
Fangs a lot!
How stable a platform do you need ? I've never filmed from a helo, but flown both the "toy" coaxial rotor versions and the more serious collective pitch models.
The coax are easy to fly, because they're naturally stable, but they achieve that by swaying gently under the rotor. Might not matter to your application, and the hover stability might be good enough if you only need a static viewpoint.
The CP versions take normal humans weeks or months to learn.
I believe - happy to be corrected - that this is why a lot of photo platforms are quad-copters, in which four fans provide lift, stability and control. Stable and easy.
It really depends *exactly* what you want to do with it. And where.
You need a rather different bit of kit for say filming a race or making TV to the toy you whiz around the local park steering with your I Phone.
Ah... just checked out the Double Horse Volitation. I suspect It'd make a terrible filming platform though, far too much vibration, high speed tail wag and generally not easy to fly.
A multi-rotor (quad or hex) platform will generally make a much better camera platform unless you already have good flying skills, need to go fast and want to fly aerobatic maneuvers in which case a properly adapted traditional heli is best.
Personally (and I do have a couple somewhat bigger) I'd get a traditional single rotor + tail heli with full collective/cyclic control, ~18" rotor span, something like:
Invest in some nice radio for it and enjoy learning to fly a reliable machine that does exactly as you command, no computers or glitchy radio gear to blame when it goes wrong. Batteries and crash parts are cheap ish in this size and as they store less energy in the rotor head they are a little safer more forgiving of bad landings then their bigger brethren.
As I said before, it really depends what you actually want.
OK. Here's more than is healthy to know about RC helos:
My suspicion is that if you buy a single rotor helo, you'll find that you've got two new hobbies (learning to fly helos, learning to maintain helos) and you're not much nearer doing any filming. They're great hobbies by the way - but take a look at the lesson schedule to see if that appeals.
There are also sections on quadcopters and coax machines. Worth a read.
If you're not after ultimate quality HD footage, the double-horse-eructation (which appears to me to be a simple coax aircraft) or whatever it was might well be a fair compromise. No doubt YouTube has got some footage taken from the setup you're considering, so you can judge the quality yourself.
Took me a couple of weeks of on and off flying now its loads of fun - really responsive and accurate in expert mode. I would go quad copter every time. Maybe buy one of these to get the hang of flying then while your getting your self nice and proficient do some re search and figure out what copter kit you could buy that suits your needs - I reckon outlay could be anything from£500 to £25000 ( yes 25k ) and everything in between for multi copters with camera mounts.
Use full links....
the quadcopter ebygomm linked to cost around 100 to build.
only very short test in garden, not flown it anywhere interesting yet.
got more videos made from fixed wing plane though.
Prepare for a lot of frustration if you're buying a cheap quad without fancy stabilising. I'm slowly getting the hang of flying it in the kitchen (between taking chunks out of my knuckles (the blades are sharp and fast!), but yet to venture outside as it's pretty skittish.
I'm pondering one of the Arducopter hexacopters as a base for a larger unit capable of handling a camera (www.arducopter.co.uk), but I reckon you're looking at the best part of a grand by the time you get transmitters, batteries, chargers and all the other gubbins together.
Best of luck!
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