Cockpit filming

Whilst learning to fly the Robinson R22 Helicopter I searched the internet, on places like YouTube, for videos that might give a birds eye pilot's view of the cockpit, but only found a handful that included sound, hence the idea of my camera was born. As well as being an excellent way of letting people see what flying a helicopter is like, I thought I might learn something about my own flying skills! As they include sound, they might also be a help to student pilots who want to brush up on their radio transmission procedures.

I decided to build my own video camera with the following characteristics. Solid state (to rule out vibration issues), compact, lightweight, portable, self powered, have the ability to record wide angle video with sound, and be reasonably cheap to build, from readily available hardware.

Approximately 6 months later I began experimenting with the unit and have recorded about ten of my trips so far. You can watch them all on my videos page. As yet only a few have been deemed good enough to upload (mainly due camera shake!) I have now upgraded my bullet camera resulting in a marked improvement in quality and am presently editing further videos, so if you visit my youtube channel and click the yellow "subscribe" button you will be emailed when i've added some more...

video camera The system is self powered, will record happily for over 2hours, fits securely onto the bulkhead and can be easily removed at the end of a flight; In keeping with the Robinson factory's safety guidelines no aircraft cables or systems are tampered with; The camera is clipped to the passenger headset hook and the audio cable connects directly into a loop through headset extension lead, hence the radio has to be on to capture sound...

video camera 2




You can see from this in cockpit picture that it's not particularly neat but it does the trick, and at the time the nearest video cameras I could find that would give me wide angle vision and recordable sound, on an SD card, were costing over £700 whereas I'd only spent about £200 putting this together.