New camera platform..

6 01 2009

This spring will mark the start of a new era for Chopperpix. We have acquired a new photo/video helicopter that is immense in proportion to some of our other machines. Staying with the “green” theme, this new machine is capable of carrying cameras that are worthy of production TV/movie results. That’s a pretty exciting prospect! We’ve run machines in the past that were capable of heavy lifting as well, but the near vibration-free electric machines make all the difference!

I’ll be posting some “spy” shots in a few weeks, as well as some video snippets so you can see just how amazing this thing is! We hope to add additional machines of the same kind to the fleet this spring as well, so there will be a lot of testing going on at the “hangar”.


Winter promo video!

4 01 2009

As I write this, the winter promo video is coming together. What is interesting is that as I edit the video I notice how really bland and colorless Indiana can be in the winter! Sometimes looking at our Earth from a different view gives you a perspective you never had before!

We got a chance to run over to the Soloman Farms property to get some video of the plowed fields and of the beautifully restored windmill. It will be a treat, I promise, to see those shots! It appears that tonight we may be experiencing another ice storm, which I hope to get some video of. The last one that came through here I missed shooting. Then when I could, the winds were 20-30kts each day which doesn’t make for the most enjoyable video.

Stay tuned and be on the lookout for the video!

Green machine!

20 12 2008

Ok, so I’m not a tree hugger, but I do love the Earth we’ve been given. If you like your Prius or have a preorder in for a Chevy Volt, you’ll appreciate that all of Chopperpix’s helicopters are 100% electric powered. The best part of using electric powered machines is consistency, reliability, and quiet operations. Even on our largest machine, we can see flight times exceed 15 minutes per set of batteries. Switching out packs is a easy task and can be done within minutes and resume flight.

We’ve flown hundreds of flights in the past, and have never had a complaint about noise. We’ve even done flights in areas where people were around and didn’t even know that the machine was in the air! Talk about stealth!

What can I use Aerial Photography for?

18 12 2008

I sometimes get this question, and if I had a dollar for every purpose I can think up, I’d be doing well! Ok, well enough to buy a nice dinner. But really, you ask, what can it really be good for other than “pictures of houses?”

There are many daily applications that often times we overlook. Take for instance the difficult and expensive job of observing antenna towers. These antennas may be your local broadcaster, cell tower, or communications relay. They are important and critical to today’s information driven society. If a tower needs to be checked over for loose cables, connections or corrosion, they may need to send up a climber to observe. With a UAV helicopter, we can easily ascend to the appropriate altitude, use high resolution cameras to photo document every angle of the tower at close range, and determine if their are any faults with a post flight analysis. Low risk, and low cost. Something Chopperpix sees as high value!

Another good example is civil services. Say you have a fire that breaks out in a large building. A huge benefit to firefighters is being able to see “hot spots” in a building that may be the source of the fire. In smaller communities that can’t afford a full-scale helicopter or other high tech equipment to “see” into a building, Chopperpix can fly above and around the perimeter of the building with a low-cost infra-red detecting camera and call out the observations. With on-board downlinks for video and GPS to identify the UAV’s location, we can easily pinpoint areas of concern, identify the locations of firefighters within the building and observe movements. Properly equipped, our machines are even capable of flying at night.

We hope to work in cooperation with both police and fire departments in the near future offering our work as a public service – at no charge. The advantages of using machines like we use means we can be ready at a moments notice and operations can be done at dramatically reduced costs both in money and potentially lives.

The list of course goes on. As you may see from our website, we’ve done plenty of work with residential and commercial real estate. As time goes on, we hope to branch out into various civil related services. We are proud to have already been a part of a search for a missing person in the past year, and hope to offer that service for free in the future as well.

If you have any suggestions or requests for specialized services, feel free to contact us!

A new way to view a city..

16 12 2008

We’re always trying to find new ways to use aerial photography.  Last fall Chopperpix embarked upon a new concept in virtual tours, and began canvassing the Fort Wayne, Indiana area shooting aerial panoramas.  At first thought, you may not understand what benefit this may have.  Well, think of Google’s Street View – a revolutionary concept that uses a specially equipped car that takes 360 degree images everywhere it drives.  Then drive through a entire city taking these pictures.  Now make these images available as a way to see what you would actually see at a given street address – now you have a way to familiarize yourself with a driving route by actually SEEING the ground view of what it looks like! Now take that concept to the sky.

We all know that you can see things better if you are higher than ground level.  You could stand on the roof of your house and see the neighborhood better, and look all around your home.  Well, take that concept and elevate it to 200 feet up.  Wouldn’t it be incredible to be able to look straight down, straight up, and all the way around?  It’s possible, and we are doing it!  Ok, now take this concept, plus Google’s Street View – are you getting the idea?  What better way to tour a city than to view it from above?  Moving seemlessly from city center to outskirts, over shopping centers, intersections, parks, landmarks.. all possible using our virtual tour assembly.  The concept goes deeper – just hang in there and as the spring approaches we will be unveiling this one-of-a-kind project to the public.

In the meantime, take a moment to view a few aerial spherical panorama’s. You’ll understand just where this technical breakthrough is going to take us!

Ever had a dream you were flying like a bird?

14 12 2008

Flying like a bird..  One of the unique experiences of aerial photography is that we get to experience that feeling through a second hand visual experience.   The actual process of flying a UAV helicopter or plane can be done through video downlinks and heads-up displays.  This allows us to literally see where the machine is pointing, it’s orientation, and even maneuver through an entire flight sequence.  It’s a very unique experience to fly this way.  You suddenly will begin to feel like that bird in that dream!  Even the post-editing of video can give you this feeling.  Take a look at this video and you’ll understand what I mean!

Click here


13 12 2008

Today marks the first day I’ve blogged.  Strange.  It’s somewhat a cathartic thing to blog isn’t it?

We’ve been working this fall/winter to get ready for the Spring ’09 season when colors start reemerging.  Winter time is usually a slow time for aerial photography, so it gives us time to tweak and tune our machines.  We are also working on a continuing basis to finish up work on the broad based aerial spherical tour of Fort Wayne, which is a VERY large project.  It’s an exciting project as there is no tour like it ANYWHERE.    With nearly 40 spherical panoramics to edit, at nearly 4-8 hours a piece, it takes a substantial amount of time to do.

As time goes on, we will be adding to the story of developments and the history of Chopperpix.  The dream continues…