All my pictures (from inside the cockpit) are pretty boring in comparison
with the pictures you see in glider magazines. I searched Google, but there
isn't much useful infomation there. A member of my club just taped a small
camera to the wing, but I'd like to use a bigger (1-2 lb/0.5-1 kg) camera,
and I don't like the idea of just taping it to the wing. That can't be good
for the camera OR the wing.
Are there any wing mounts available? Or are gliders designed for these
things. Vaguely remember something about some gliders being delivered with
predrawn wires for the camera trigger...
I'd be using a Cirrus or a Discus, and the camera would be on timer or
infrared trigger, to prevent having to tape a wire to the wing.
>Has anyone here tried mounting a camera on the wing (or tail) of a glider?
>If so, how did you do it?
If you have a removeable metal skid on the wing tip, you can make a 1- 1 1/2
foot (30 - 50 cm) extension arm that can be screwed in place between the skid
and the wing, with the end bent up a little to be clear of the ground. Mount
the camera on the end of the arm using a standard screw mount ( and a bit of
tape to stop the screw moving ! ) and this will vastly improve the quality of
your pictures. Mounting it on top in the wing often means that the bottom third
of the picture is just white wing which is very boring. A friend took my
advice and then G load tested the mount by hanging ten times its weight from it
(on the ground), with no problems. The resulting pictures appeared in
Segelflug Bilkalender, including the loop photo.
Or you can make a mould of the leading edge of the wing (or tailplane) and make
a mount, again with an extension arm. this then needs a lot of tap to hold it
in place, and maybe a bungee rope rount the back of the wing. Another couple
of friends tried this method with some success. (One produced his own calendar
one year, and sells the prints as posters). I've even seen pictures taken
from the equivalent nose mount, but never seen the actual mount itself. This
sort of wing mount is addaptable to fit several gliders.
I make no comment of the legallity of this "mod", merely that it's how many
good gliding pictures are taken.
John Wright, 742
Thanks, that extension arm idea sounds like the best one I've heard so far.
Have to check if the Cirrus/Discus has a removeable skid...
Do you know if he made some sort of aerodynamic cover for the camera? I
guess the aerodynamic drag from a camera isn't too big, but it must be
something. A 35mm camera with a good lens is pretty big.
Also, do you know if this changed the behaviour of the aircraft? There must
be a lot of flow separation around the camera, so if the aileron is right
behind it might get bumpy. On the other hand, if I bend up the metal arm, I
should get rid of most of that...
>Do you know if he made some sort of aerodynamic cover for the camera? I
>guess the aerodynamic drag from a camera isn't too big, but it must be
>something. A 35mm camera with a good lens is pretty big.
No covers were used
>Also, do you know if this changed the behaviour of the aircraft? There must
>be a lot of flow separation around the camera, so if the aileron is right
>behind it might get bumpy. On the other hand, if I bend up the metal arm, I
>should get rid of most of that...
Appartently it had absolutely no effect on the handling. As I've flown with
one wing full of water and one wing empty due to a leaky valve, I'd have
expected a few pounds difference in weight to have little effect.
Also all the pilots I know who did this used a very long cable release to the
camera and auto wind-on.
John Wright, 742
Handling - it sat on the RH tip and there was a definate wing drop to the
right. This was controllable and the glider was winch and aerotowed. I
even flew a 100km triangle with the mount on. It was easier to fly RH turns
than left. It was also flown by one of the club instructors who mentioned
this change in handling. Apparently you can balance out the wings by adding
some ballast onto the other tip, but I never tried this.
The camera I used was a Pentax ME super with a 28mm wide angle. A motor
wind was fitted with a long eletrical shutter release. I found that most IR
releases only work up to 5m unless you go for a professional one. No
fairings were used. The camera was held on by tripod mount, cable ties and
Hope this helps.
Thanks to both of you for the ideas. Now I just have to get the club's
aircraft engineers to accept this idea... :-)
Sync the camera timer with his watch, he has made outstanding pictures. No
Made a styrofoam mold to hold the camera on the wing , lots of tape and
there you go.
PIK20B Bravo Mike
"Niclas Schopenhauer" <nscho@hot_nospam_mail.com> a écrit dans le message
To see the sort of results that can be achieved see www.whiteplanes.co.uk
In the quest for just the right photo that captures the emotion and beauty of
soaring, what are we willing to sacrifice? How many FAR'S can one violate when
taking a photograph?
It begins by realizing that photos taken from the cockpit are a dime a dozen
and rarely inspire oneself or others. So, with hopes of a more dramatic photo,
one builds an external camera mount for the aircraft and flies without the
required (337) paperwork.?
Next you find that the photos taken in normal flight lacks the action and
background you setout to capture. So the next attempt is air to air. One
quickly realizes that very close proximity is required to photograph another
glider, because a camera lens distorts the distance and makes a close glider
look far away. All tight air to air photos should be rehearsed on the ground
using the sailplanes along with a review of airspeeds, overtaking, exit and
emergency procedures. You will find very few who want to have their wings
overlapping a glider who's pilot is trying to take a photo. The logistics of a
having good soaring conditions, the right gliders in the same place and near to
an interesting background when you are camera equipped, is another matter.
After scaring yourself and others, you abandoned air to air, and try
aerobatics with your external camera. This is the point when a weight and
balance is the most critical, assuming you have not had the glider near its
aerodynamic limits prior to now. Aerobatics fill the foreground with activity
but, due to the high altitude, the backgrounds still lacks the color and
inspiration needed. Realizing altitude and distance diminishes the background
color and crisp contrast necessary, for a good photo, you try maneuvers near
the ground, clouds, mountains or large identifiable structures. Large bank or
pitch angles just before landing, below 1500ft and over a populated area will
produce a dramatic photo. Another good area is next to mountains and ridges,
but you need to be close enough to see the squirrels and groundhogs.
To produce real good soaring photos, one has to:
1) Attach a external camera to the glider ( lack of a 337 ) ( no weight &
2) Perform unusual maneuvers
3) Be close to objects and ground
Partial list of FAR'S one can violate.
1) Unapproved camera mount ( lack of a 337 )
2) Weight and balance out of bounds
3) Aerobatics in an aircraft that is not rated for the aerobatics
4) Aerobatics without a parachute
5) Aerobatics under, or within 5 NM of, an airway
6) Aerobatics below 1500ft
7) Flights closer than 500ft to a structure
8) Flights closer to clouds than is permitted
The most FAR'S violated by one photo taken by myself is and published by SSA
>How many FAR'S can you violate when taking a photograph?
>In the quest for just the right photo that captures the emotion and beauty of
>soaring, what are we willing to sacrifice? How many FAR'S can one violate
>when taking a photograph?
On the other hand you could fly in a country where FARs don't apply, and use
common sense when taking the photo by thinking about the things you mention
before leaving the ground. Proir Planning Prevents P*** Poor Pilot's Photos.
John Wright, 742
UK a nice O/R for you. Rather a long way to go just for a picture though.
John Wright, 742