Remote Aerial Filming Platforms
Advantages of remote aerial filming platforms
Aerial filming used to be the domain of full size helicopters using anything from gyro stabilised mounts to a hand held camera through an open door. Full size helicopters are still widely used and produce great aerials but now some remote aerial platforms offer a credible alternative and come with a much lower price tag.
- Relatively cheap to hire (compared to full size helicopters)
- Quick to rig
- No need to pay for positioning time
- Can fly inside buildings and built up areas (subject to CAA / FAA rules)
- Some can take cameras from Go Pro size up to 5D or Red Epic
- Allows aerial filming where previously budget would not allow
About the Octocopter
Octocopter is a remotely controlled aerial filming platform made from carbon fibre and aircraft components. Lift and direction control is provided by 8 propellors making it a stable platform capable of carrying larger cameras.
Where can you fly
Practically anywhere from indoors and through doorways to outside, over water and under the tree canopy
Altitude, range & speed
CAA law restricts maximum height to 450 ft and a range of 500 metres in line of sight. Typical operating range is within a radius of 100 metres. Octocopter can fly as low as 0.5 metres and can reach speeds of up to 50 mph depending on weather conditions.
Octocopter is almost 2m across and therefore very stable. Pilot will change the blades to suit wind conditions allowing it to fly successfully in winds up to 25 mph. Strong gusting wind can be a problem.
Flight time and set up time
Flight time varies according to load and weather conditions.
14 mins with no load
10 mins with Canon 5D
6 mins with Red Epic
Adverse wind conditions can affect these timings
Set up time from arrival: approx 10 mins
Turnaround time: 5 mins on the ground to review pictures and change batteries
Octopcopter is controlled from the ground by 2 operators: a pilot to fly the machine and a camera operator to control the gyro stabilised gimbal allowing the camera to pan & tilt.
The camera is mounted in a gyro stabilised gimbal to ensure steady pictures.
Range of cameras
Octocopter is very versatile and has flown with the Red Epic, Canon C300, Sony FS700, Sony F55, Canon 5D, Panasonic GH2 and the Go Pro Hero.
On board video link transmits HD pictures to the ground. It's also possible to have a full HD link to feed into live broadcasts.