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NexStar as a good video plane?

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Old 12-10-2003, 08:03 PM
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SkyDude
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Default NexStar as a good video plane?

Howdy,

What's your opinion on the best plane as a platform for aerial video? I've been checking out the NexStar and really like the idea of the co-pilot that keeps the plane level. It looks like you could keep it flying in a level circle by just using the rudder stick a little. It seems to keep the plane very stable and smooth.

My idea is to hang a tilt/pan setup under the wing. Even with the extra weight on one side, the plane should auto-correct and keep it level. This way I could let the plane fly itself and just worry about heading, and I could work the camera at the same time.

Ultimately, I'd like to have a video plane that I could use to film other planes in flight. I could have my plane fly in straight, co-pilot assisted level flight and have the target plane fly next to my plane while I adjust the camera to keep the target plane in frame.


Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

don't put it too far out ,maybe 1/4 of the half span.
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:32 AM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

Oh yeah, I'd keep the camera rig under the wing as close to the fuselage as possible... Just far enough to give the tilt/pan setup clearance. Another option is under the belly, but that may be more difficult for ground clearance.

I guess the main point of my question is this - Do you think using the co-pilot feature to keep the plane level and at a constant altitude is worth the $400 cost for the plane? It's a lot, but it's as close to a ready-made stable video platform that I've seen so far.

The thought of being able to trust the co-pilot enough for me to concentrate on a video monitor and control the camera angle is what I'm after. I'm not interested in filming loops of my own plane, but stable shots of the scenery and hopefully other planes.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

I've used a FMA copilot on My trainer and It worked well at stabilizing the plane. The Futaba system should do well, but the futaba system does not like sunny days ,the FMA prefers them, and sunny days are the best for photography especially with digital cameras.
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:45 AM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

goliath, thanks for the comparison between FMA copilot and Futaba unit, I've always wondered how they were different.

SkyDude, I'm not sure if the NexStar offers true altitude hold, or if it simply levels the plane front-to-back. For short duration "under the hood" I'm sure it would keep the plane flying fine.

I've looked at the plane myself as a quick and easy way to get into a self stabilizing gas trainer type plane, but I like the FMA copilot better for the reason that goliath mentioned.

FMA is introducing an all new copilot/receiver combination that looks really exciting and that is another reason I would probably just put together my own self stablizing plane.

If you do end up buying it, please let us know your thoughts.

Regards,
Bill
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Old 12-11-2003, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

Thanks for the info. I'll have to check out the new FMA co-pilot. I'd hate to have the plane not be at it's best when the weather is perfect for video.

Another plane I was considering is the Hobbistar. It's a .60 sized semi-symetrical wing so it should handle the winds a little better and carry a bigger payload. With the bigger size, I could do one of the things I thought would be really cool. With the camera in the belly, I'd like to take up an RC Skidiver and film the drop, and hopefully the decent. Someone else would fly the skydiver, and I'd pilot the plane and control the cam. With the co-pilot, all I'd have to worry about is pushing the rudder to stay in a circle. Probably a bit difficuly, but one can dream, can't one?

The only bummer is that I'd have to build the Hobbistar, and the NexSTAR is less than 30 minutes work and a battery charge from flight ready.

Anyone else have suggestions for a good video platform?
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:03 PM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

I had a Hobbistar, unfortunately it only lasted two flights. I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm sure there's people on here that would swear by it. Mine came out at just under 8lbs with an OS 65LA on the front and about 3oz lead on the tail. If this is an average weight then I think it'll probably be too heavy by the time you add photo equipment to it.

My first plane was a Superstar 60, this flew well and had plenty of room for photo gear. No need to add weight anywhere to balance either...

There's also the Sig Kadet Senior ARF, with its large size and low wing loading this might be the ideal platform......

Another possibility is the LT-40. Same size as the 'average' 60 sized plane but lighter with a lower wing loading. This plane seems to be quite adaptable, I first powered it with an Irvine 39, then an OS 46FX and now an OS FS70. It's probably a bit nose heavy with that engine but it still flies well.....
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Old 12-11-2003, 02:06 PM
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Default RE: NexStar as a good video plane?

One other thing, you were talking about 'building' the Hobbistar? It's an ARF but if that's too much work then you could look into the new 60 sized Alpha RTF...

http://horizon.hobbyshopnow.com/prod...p?prod=HAN2600
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