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Old Mar 06, 2010, 03:22 PM
Biplanes and Helicopters
AtomicPunk's Avatar
USA, CA, Arroyo Grande
Joined Oct 2007
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Aerial Video Sled

Hi Guys,

About a year ago I bought a FlyCamOne2 and enjoyed getting video from my planes. Sometimes, when we had two or three aircraft in the air at the same time, I'd get some video of them flying, but usually very brief and pretty random. We made several attempts to fly slowly and around the same orbit, but the results were less than satisfactory.

3 weeks ago, my flying buddy Bob Gaver started towing a small missile around behind his plane, which was a hoot! It got me thinking, "Why couldn't I tow a camera sled around behind my plane and get video of it flying?"

I looked around on these forums and didn't find any advice or previous videos that were similar, so I set about building one of my own. The first was an utter failure! The second showed some promise.

The video below is the second iteration, 3rd revision of the AVS.

I think that a larger block camera or HD unit could be easily towed, given correctly sized AVS and some good video could result.

Let me know what you think. If enough people are interested, I'll be happy to share build details and some of the principles I've discovered along the way.

Simon

Aerial Video Sled AVS (Towed Chase Plane) (2 min 10 sec)
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Last edited by AtomicPunk; Mar 06, 2010 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Rich Hill Missouri 64779
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Pretty cool! Shat exactly is a video sled? Show us some pictures of it!
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 04:46 PM
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I've thought about doing the same thing but using one of those small walmart styro gliders and a keychain camera.
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 04:52 PM
Biplanes and Helicopters
AtomicPunk's Avatar
USA, CA, Arroyo Grande
Joined Oct 2007
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Originally Posted by randall1959 View Post
I've thought about doing the same thing but using one of those small walmart styro gliders and a keychain camera.
You should try it! As long as the wing loadings of the two vehicles are quite close it should work.

Simon
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 05:52 PM
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That actually was pretty cool. I think maybe you should use fishing line as the tow line. That way it doesn't show up as much in the video. Not sure what strength to use though.

- Jeff
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Aurora, Colorado
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That was crazy cool!
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 06:12 PM
Biplanes and Helicopters
AtomicPunk's Avatar
USA, CA, Arroyo Grande
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zirt57 View Post
That actually was pretty cool. I think maybe you should use fishing line as the tow line. That way it doesn't show up as much in the video. Not sure what strength to use though.

- Jeff
Thanks, Jeff
What you see in the video is a lightweight music wire bridle, which is attached to about 10' of Fireline 10# fishing line attached to the tug. I tried it with fishing line all the way to the tug and it showed up worse under certain lighting angles. Plus it made the yaw oscillation somewhat worse.

Simon
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 06:13 PM
Biplanes and Helicopters
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Originally Posted by qualcity View Post
That was crazy cool!
Thanks QC!
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 07:57 PM
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That's really creative! I like it.
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicPunk View Post
Thanks, Jeff
What you see in the video is a lightweight music wire bridle, which is attached to about 10' of Fireline 10# fishing line attached to the tug. I tried it with fishing line all the way to the tug and it showed up worse under certain lighting angles. Plus it made the yaw oscillation somewhat worse.

Simon

Ah yes, I see that in the pictures. Wow, the tow lines look so much larger in the video than in the pictures. Is that metal fishing line I see attached to the pylon? I was thinking about clear filament line but maybe that's what it is. Either way, this is one of the best, new ideas I've seen in a while. (They need more smileys, I really wanted to put a thumbs up here.)

- Jeff
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Last edited by Canadian Geek; Mar 06, 2010 at 10:10 PM. Reason: grammer etc...
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 10:09 PM
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I was just thinking, what if you attached your lines to the wings? Same fashion as you are doing but it gets the attachment points wider in order to still the oscillations. Maybe experiment with different attachment points. I do think you've got the right idea though of having two attachment points on the sled going to a single line coming from the tow plane.

- Jeff
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 10:16 PM
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I wonder if it would be possible to add gyros to it somehow to dampen the oscillations?
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Old Mar 06, 2010, 11:02 PM
Joined Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by AtomicPunk View Post
Hi Guys,

Let me know what you think. If enough people are interested, I'll be happy to share build details and some of the principles I've discovered along the way.

Simon
I think that cool, I'm definitely interested.

Thanks
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Old Mar 07, 2010, 02:05 AM
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Olathe, Kansas
Joined Mar 2009
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Wow! Super smooth video. I like it. I've been experimenting as well. My rig is a Super cub, w/ a 2 ft glider, and key chain cam.

I'd like to build a tow plane like yours, got Directions?

Here's a video I made w/ the above rig...

Hobby Zone Super Cub towing small glider w/ onboard camera (4 min 38 sec)
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