Aerial Photography

    Bussmann Aviation prides itself on catering to the needs of the photographic community.  We provide dual moving map GPS displays in the aircraft which are pre-programmed before each flight with each subject location.  In this fashion we can efficiently ferry the helicopter from location to location and minimize time spent in the air hunting for the subject on the ground. (Note; For a larger view of any image or photo on this page simply roll your mouse cursor over the image and click on it)

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    GPS Site Mapping

    We have a wide variety of camera mount options to meet every photographic mission and budget. Hand held still photographers have the option of sitting up front in the co-pilots seat and shooting with the door off, or through our exclusive "photo-hatch" removable window during cold weather operations. For more demanding assignments, we can remove the rears seats & doors and install our unique "photo-pad & step" system and the photographer can shoot directly out either side of the aircraft with much more freedom of movement and operating space to accommodate multiple lenses and camera bodies. 

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    Photo Pad

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    Co-Pilots Seat

     

     

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    Photo Hatch

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    Photo Step

     

    For video and film jobs, we can provide a pair of Panasonic 7" LCD video monitors which can mount in both the front and rear cabins.  These monitors support both SD and HD (AJA Video downconverter) and 4:3 & 16:9.  With our fuel and service trailer, we can also easily operate at remote locations all day long without having to break-off flight operations for refueling trips back to distant airports.

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    Panasonic Monitor

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    Service Trailer

     

    As safety is our number one priority, we provide all crew with:

    o  Safety harness with redundant security hardware for all door-off operations

    o  Suspender style constant wear life jackets and "Spare-Air" breathing devices for all over-water operations

    For marine and film/video production missions our aircraft are equipped with the Technisonics TFM-500 UHF/VHF transceiver to facilitate 2-way communications with ground and boat crews. This radio provides coverage of the 138-174 MHz and 403-512 MHz bands. To facilitate air-to-ground communications for your production or project, we also have available, in-house, hand-held Marine band VHF transceivers and a pair of Motorola HT-750 hand-held VHF transceivers (including vehicle mount antennas and power supplies) with unique, private  assigned frequencies licensed for the greater Washington metropolitan area. 

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    We also have both the Kenyon KS-6 gyro and KS-8 image stabilization systems in house with 12 & 24v inverters available for rent. Designed to  handle the more difficult assignments, the KS-6 provides utmost image stabilization for steady sequences with smooth panning. Troublesome vibrations are dampened out for medium format cameras or long  lenses, without the loss of  hand-held freedom of motion. The KS-6 is easily  attached to camcorders,  videotape television cameras, etc. to realize the full potential of telephoto and  zoom lenses. The KS-6 is  recommended for equipment as heavy as 6 lbs, the KS-8 will stabilize cameras up to 12 lbs in weight.

    Specifications:
    Size:
    3.4"  diameter x 5.8" long
    Weight: 3.25 lbs (52  oz.)
    Power: 115 volts, 400  Hz, 28 watts  starting with 20  watts running after 10 minutes.
    Panning  Rate: 20 degrees  per second, 22,000 rpm.

     

    Kenyon KS-6 Gyro

    For precision aerial survey work, we can offer engineering firms with a 12" negative still camera mount on the starboard side of the aircraft. In this configuration, the photographer sits in the rear of the aircraft and the view finder is positioned on the port side of the helicopter. The MD 500 is the perfect vehicle for those slow and low shots so often required for road construction projects.

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    12" Negative Still
     Camera Mount

    For aerial video or film work, Bussmann Aviation offers a variety of mount and camera options. For point-of-view ("POV") work, customers can choose the Tyler nose mount or custom bracket nose mounts for WESCAM or FSI Ultramedia II cameras. The FSI Ultramedia II gyro-stabilized video system features:

    o  Sony BVP-570 2/3" 3CCD digital camera (4:3 or 16:9 switchable)

    o  Fujinon A36 x 10.5 +2 lens

    o  Rock steady super smooth shots regardless of turbulence, even at extreme telephoto lengths (10.5mm to 756mm)

    o  Beta SP, Digi-Beta or  DVCAM record decks available

 

    For orbit work around stationary ground subjects, air-to-air photography or multiple view moving ground subject photography the Tyler or the AE LSG-2 middle mounts (film or video) may be the more appropriate choice.  The AE LSG-2 is a in-house middle mount for both film and video cameras that includes  4 x Kenyon KS-8 gyros to dampen roll, pan and tilt motion.  Being a in-house system we can fly your job with this system with very little lead time, and avoid expensive freight charges.  The AE LSG-2 also has the added advantage of being able to accommodate the smaller and lighter next generation camera systems currently on the market.  The video wind screen is an optional accessory we can add to prevent slipstream buffeting of the camera system while in flight.

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    AE LSG Mount

     

    Wind Screen

     

     

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    Tyler Nose Mount
    (Side View)

     

    FSI Nose Mount

     

    Tyler Middle Mount


    For hand-held video applications we can provide the Canon mage stabilizing end-of-lens adapter IS-20BII. The IS-20BII Image Stabilizer Adapter is designed to be front mounted on Canon's range of J21ax7.8B, J20ax8B, J17aX7.7B*, J16ax8B, J15ax8B, J14ax8.5B ENG lenses and 33ax portable lens series. For long distance shots, you can couple the IS-20BII on the Canon 21 x 7.8 IF w/2x lens 7.8-327mm with excellent results.  Full features of the original lens specifications including 2X extender can be used with IS-20BII, and there is no light loss.

    The Optical Shift Image Stabilizer (IS) shifts a lens group in parallel to the image plane. When the lens moves, the light rays from the subject are bent relative to the optical axis, resulting in a blurred image because the light rays are deflected. By shifting the IS lens group on a plane perpendicular to the optical axis to counter the degree of image shake, the light rays reaching the image plane can be steadied.

    Two shake-detecting sensors, one each for yaw and pitch, are used to detect lens movement. The shake-detecting sensors detect the angle and speed of movement and send this information to a high-speed 32-bit microcomputer. The microcomputer then converts the detection signals into drive signals for the IS lens group. In accordance with the drive signals, the IS lens group actuator moves the IS lens group and thus counteracting the image shake and maintaining a stable picture.

    Shift IS and Vari-Angle Prism Image Stabilizer In comparison with the Optical Vari-Angle Prism IS where the IS unit must be located in the front of the lens, shift IS allows the IS lens group to be built internally in the lens which allows for a compact design and lighter weight.

    Vari-Angle Prism IS as used in our ENG lenses, covers a slightly wider bandwidth of frequencies including higher frequencies that are often encountered with moving vehicles such as helicopters. Shift IS is most effective for lower frequency movements caused by hand shake, platform vibration or wind effect without increasing the overall size of the lens.

    Canon IS-20BII

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    Installed View A

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    Installed View B

     

    Cineflex v14 1 & Elite 2K HD Camera Systems Available

    Through our industry partners and supply houses we are now pleased to announce the availability of the new Cineflex HD Camera System.  The Cineflex V-14 Hi-Def camera system features the Sony HDC-F950 Cinealta camera.  This "ball" camera system is gyro -stabilized in 5 axes and provides flawless, jitter-free aerial HD footage when used in our Hughes 500 helicopters.  We have mated this camera with the new Canon 11 x 4.7 HD lens, the widest HD zoom lens available, which provides a 91 degree wide field of view at f 1.9 (4.7mm to 104mm zoom range). 

    The Cineflex package includes 2 HD field monitors with waveform monitor and either the Sony HDW-s280 field deck (8 bit HDCAM) or Aja Ki-Pro field recorder (10 bit Apple ProRes 422HQ recorded on solid state drives). 4:4:4 RGB up to 30fps is available as an option with the outside rental of a Sony SRW-1/SRPC-1 field deck or similar.

    The camera outputs all ATSC standard 1920x1080 frame rates except 60 progressive. (NTSC & PAL) Standard-def or 720P down conversion is available as an option.

    This camera system provides excellent tonal range and color fidelity - its' ability to handle almost 10 stops of dynamic range give it an unmistakable film quality.  You'll notice from the footage that the detail and color saturation hold up well even down into the shadows.  The system, designed by John Coyle, is extremely well engineered and doesn't suffer any of the problems of other gyro-stabilized HD systems, like blown fuses, sticky motors, etc.  Once this system is rigged on the helicopter you can shoot all day with little interruption other than cleaning the lens and changing tapes.

    The Sony F950 outputs full 4:4:4 RGB uncompressed HD in 1920 x 1080 CIF format at standard frame rates, including 24P (23.98Psf).  Available formats include:

  • 1080/59.94i HD - The standard Sony HDCAM format recorded on our HDW-250 field deck.

  • 1080/24P HD - (23.98Psf) 24 frame progressive, recorded as 23.98Psf in a 59.94i transport stream on our HDW-250 field deck.

  • 480/59.94i or 24P - HD down-converted to SD in 16:9 letterbox or anamorphic, or 4:3 center-cut.  Recorded on our DVW-250 Digibeta or BVW-50 BetaSP field decks.

  • 1080/59.94i or 24P(23.98) HD-SR - Sony's exciting new 4:4:4 RGB HD format. recorded on Sony SRW-5000 or SRW-1?SRPC-1 field deck.  We have an SRW-1 HD-SR deck.

  • Down conversions to different flavors of 720P are also available with outside rental of a DVCPRO deck.

  • Digibeta/DV dailies or off-line copies of HD field masters are available at extra cost. 

    Film & Video Credits

             ABC 20/20 "The Candidates Secret"

             BBC - "America Under Fire"

             Bravo TV -  Real Housewives of DC

             CBS - "60 Minutes"

             CBS - "Amazing Race"

             CBS - "32nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors"

             Documentary -  "Fg An Bealach / Clear The Way" - Tile Films

             Documentary - "Fells Point Out of Time"

             Documentary - "Marine Helicopter Squadron One - 60th Anniversary

             Documentary - "New American Farmer" - Telly Awards Bronze Winner

             Documentary - "Under Our Skin"

             ESPN Sports - "Super Retriever Trials"

             Estefan Productions - "Tributo A Nuestros Heroes"

             Feature Film - "Breach" - Location Scouting

             Feature Film - "Crazy Like A Fox"

             Feature Film - "Darkon"

             Feature Film - "GI Joe 2 Retaliation" - Location Scouting

             Feature Film - "Triple X State of the Union" - Location Scouting

         Feature Film - "What About Love"

             History Channel - Battlefield Detectives Series: "Gettysburg" and "Antietam"

             National Geographic Documentary: "Ghost Ship - Kalmar Nyckel"

             OLN - Ultimate Playground: "Maryland Mission"

             PBS Documentary: "Americans At War" Series

             PBS Documentary: "Between Heaven & Earth"

             PBS Documentary: "Chesapeake By Air"

         PBS Documentary: "Potomac By Air"

             PBS Documentary: "Chevy Chase - A Street Car Home"

         PBS Documentary: "Conowingo Dam: Power on the Susquehanna"

             PBS Documentary: "Moving MD Forward - A Century of Modern Highways"

             PBS Documentary: "Poisoned Waters" (Hedrick Smith - Frontline Special)

             PBS Documentary: "Prince Among Slaves"

             PBS Documentary: "Virginia in the Civil War - A Sesquicentennial"

             PBS Reality TV: "Fetch!" with Ruff Ruffman

             PGA Tour - "TPC Avenel" & "Booze Allen Classic" - Congressional

             Volvo Ocean Race "2005-2006: Life At The Extreme"

             Weather Channel - "Epic Conditions - Sailing on the Chesapeake Bay"

     

...others available upon request.

Whatever the mission, Bussmann Aviation has the appropriate solution. Please contact us for specific recommendations for each job!

 
 
Email us for more information at heloflights@hotmail.com.
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(Table of Capabilities)

 

 Mount

Position

 Capabilities

 Shots

 Limitations

Advantages

 Disadvantages

 View

 Cameras

Stability

Budget

Rigging

Min Call

 Crew

 

Handheld

Left or right rear Orbit static objects or track moving objects. Hover as wind allows. Static or slow moving. Must be close to subject. Can not shoot stable close-ups of distant objects. Movement of aircraft translated to picture. Lower cost, quick setup Instability, field of view Still
S-VHS
DV
DVcam
DVCpro
BetacamSP
D9
HD
Film
etc.

 C

 $

 1 hour

4 hours

Pilot
Photographer
2 Observers


AE GSM Middle mount (w/o gyros)

Left or right rear Orbit static objects or track moving objects. Hover as wind allows. Some straight approaches possible.
Moderate Speed Tracking
Establishing
Orbiting
Elevating
Can not shoot stable close-ups of very distant objects. Subject must be viewed from either left or right side. (Determined before rigging). Moderate cost, short setup Some instability, field of view S-VHS
DVcam
DVCpro
BetacamSP
D9
HD
Film
etc.

 B

 $$

2 hours

 4 hours

Pilot
Photographer
1 Observer
 

 
AE GSM Middle mount (with gyros)

Left or right rear Orbit static objects or track moving objects. Hover as wind allows. Some straight approaches possible.
Moderate Speed Tracking
Establishing
Orbiting
Elevating
Can not shoot stable extreme close-ups of very distant objects. Subject must be viewed from either left of right side (determined before rigging). Slightly higher moderate cost, short setup, gyro stabilized imaging, use any camera Field of view, some movement S-VHS
DVcam
DVCpro
BetacamSP
D9
HD
Film
etc.

 B+

$$$

 2.5 hours

 4 hours

Pilot
Photographer
1 Observer
 

 
AE GSM Nose mount (with gyros)

 

Front Approach straight towards object. Photographer can tilt. Good for POV. Operate with doors on.
Reveals
Point-of-view
Up and over
Pan and horizon controlled by operator inside helo. Moderate cost, short setup, gyro stabilized imaging, use any camera. Field of view, camera shooting through aircraft windshield.. S-VHS
DVcam
DVCpro
BetacamSP
D9
Film
etc.

 B+

$$

 1 hour

4 hours

Pilot
Photographer
1 Observer

 

 
Tyler nose mount

Front Approach straight towards object. Photographer can tilt. Good for POV. Operate with doors on.
Reveals
Point-of-view
Up and over
Pan and horizon dictated by aircraft attitude. Moderate cost, short setup Field of view, horizon and pan fixed to aircraft. S-VHS
DVcam
DVCpro
BetacamSP
D9
Film
etc.

 B

$$

 2.5 hours

4 hours

Pilot
Photographer
2 Observers
 


Camera ball

Front Completely gyro stabilized on all axes. Long lens can hold stable tight shot. Large forward field of view. Operate with doors on.
High Speed Tracking
Reveals
Zoom out/in detail to scene
NTSC 4:3 video only. Wide-angle lens available. Very flexible. Very stable image. Cost. Long setup time. Weight limitations. Fewer passengers HD, BetacamSP
(NTSC 4:3 video only)

 A

 $$$$

 6 hours

 8 hours

Pilot
Photographer
 

 
Camera ball

Side Completely gyro stabilized on all axes. Long lens can hold stable tight shot. Large forward field of view. Operate with doors on.
High Speed Side Tracking
High Speed Front Tracking
Zoom Out/In Detail to Scene
NTSC 4:3 video only. Wide angle lens available. Very flexible. Very stable image. Cost. Long setup time. Weight limitations. Fewer passengers HD, BetacamSP
(NTSC 4:3 video only)

 A

 $$$$

 4 hours

8 hours

Pilot
Photographer
1 Observer