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flyer46
04-29-2009, 01:19 AM
OK. I have spent about 30 minutes searching the archives and found lots of suggestions for in-flight photos through the canopy. Sorry, that just does not cut the mustard for me. I've shot photos through the open window of a Cessna for 24 years, but now I fly an RV9..... and the "through the canopy" shots just are not acceptable to me. The optical quality and reflections are not acceptable.

So have any of you folk installed a window in the plexi canopy in an RV.... Mine is a slider, but I still want to know if you have done a window on a tip-up. Yes, I know the structure is compromised. But the plexi comprimises the photo too.

Maybe a camera port on the fuselage is a better idea.... near the pilot's left knee. I could do that too and probably get good results.

All suggestions are welcome. But shooting without an additional optical surface is my goal.

Thanks,
John Severyn
N79LH
RV-9A FP O320 D1A

Howie
04-29-2009, 04:02 AM
John,
Check the September 1973 issue of Naval Aviation News, page 2. A short
article about a photo hop in an A-4. The author has several recommendations
to help you get better air-to-air photos, from inside the aircraft.
Seems like yesterday.
Good luck,
Howie

DeltaRomeo
04-29-2009, 05:09 AM
RV-10 baggage door....

I've toyed with the idea of ordering a spare RV-10 door with an access hole cut in it that I could hang on Alex's RV-10 for the very stuff you're talking about. Remove one of the rear seat backs and lay on my stomach shooting down at the 7-8 O'clock positions.

Pirkka
04-29-2009, 05:28 AM
Naval Aviation News September 1973 issue:

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1970s/1973/sep73.pdf

Webb
04-29-2009, 06:11 AM
I don't see why you couldn't mark it off, cut it out carefully (very). Polish the edges. Install a hinge and use some plexi scraps to make a lip with a thin weatherstrip under the lip. A little latch or two and away you go.

Of course, it's like the first man to eat an oyster......brave soul in this case to cut your canopy.

Dave Cole
04-29-2009, 06:33 AM
Maybe you could use a sliding plexiglas side window like sailplanes have. They are available for purchase complete with tracks and mounting screws from Wings and Wheels. You can find them on their web site in the Index under Canopies and Windows.

videobobk
04-29-2009, 06:50 AM
Just thinking out loud here, but would it be possible to secure the canopy at 4-5" open? Even if it took another person outside the aircraft to secure it, this to me seems like something that could be explored. Perhaps limit top speed to 100 kts or so. The only weak link in the canopy system seems to me to be the back slider track. Just a thought...

Bob Kelly

klovning
04-29-2009, 07:00 AM
Anyone ever think of replacing one of the inspection plates with a plexi one? - Drill a round hole through the plexi large enough to mount the lens and operate the camera/video from remote?

May be a dumb idea - but just a thought..

BikePilot
04-29-2009, 07:11 AM
I've seen an RV before that was modified to be open cockpit (based in HI IIRC); looked really fun! Of course that might be a bit extreme, but some clever system that would allow you to easily install and remove the canopy might be really interesting.

For shooting behind glass, I've found that a DSLR setup with a fairly narrow DOF (just keep the aperture fairly wide) works surprisingly well.

Here, found a picture of it!
http://www.vansairforce.net/_RV3B/images/theshot.jpg

And another open 3B canopy. Seems like something similar could work on other models, but I'm just a wanna-be builder at this point:)
http://picasaweb.google.com/airspeedzero/N313RVVansRV3BSN11366FredBauerJr#52044537293734950 26

mikehoover
04-29-2009, 09:10 AM
Naval Aviation News September 1973 issue:

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1970s/1973/sep73.pdf

I believe this is the excerpt from the article:

The way to eliminate the internal reflections is to tape brown wrapping paper to the inside of the canopy leaving a hole in each side to shoot from. I knew not to rest my camera against any part of the aircraft if I wanted sharp photos...

Was he flying on instruments only? Or VFR thru peep holes?

Zilla
04-29-2009, 10:07 AM
He's not the PIC, he's an aerial photog in the back seat. I've seen the guys at Edwards do similar things (spread a black sheet over everything) in the rear cockpit of a T-38 or F-16 to minimize reflections...

BuckWynd
04-29-2009, 10:41 AM
He's not the PIC, he's an aerial photog in the back seat. I've seen the guys at Edwards do similar things (spread a black sheet over everything) in the rear cockpit of a T-38 or F-16 to minimize reflections...

Which brings up the next very important point: Never take air-to-air photos while you're flying an airplane. The PIC and the photographer must be two different people.

That's Rule #1 of air-to-air photography.

The Air Force lost two pilots and two airplanes many years ago when a guy tried to film his own formation rejoin. He proved that looking through a viewfinder can ruin your depth perception. D'oh.

flyer46
04-29-2009, 10:46 PM
Maybe you could use a sliding plexiglas side window like sailplanes have. They are available for purchase complete with tracks and mounting screws from Wings and Wheels. You can find them on their web site in the Index under Canopies and Windows.

Yep. One of my thoughts. But cutting the canopy just gives me the willies. But Bonanzas very often have such windows, and they are about the same speed. I just do not know the stresses in the canopy.
John Severyn

flyer46
04-29-2009, 10:47 PM
I don't see why you couldn't mark it off, cut it out carefully (very). Polish the edges. Install a hinge and use some plexi scraps to make a lip with a thin weatherstrip under the lip. A little latch or two and away you go.

Of course, it's like the first man to eat an oyster......brave soul in this case to cut your canopy.

Zactly!!!!!!!!

flyer46
04-29-2009, 10:48 PM
I've seen an RV before that was modified to be open cockpit (based in HI IIRC); looked really fun! Of course that might be a bit extreme, but some clever system that would allow you to easily install and remove the canopy might be really interesting.

For shooting behind glass, I've found that a DSLR setup with a fairly narrow DOF (just keep the aperture fairly wide) works surprisingly well.

Here, found a picture of it!
http://www.vansairforce.net/_RV3B/images/theshot.jpg

And another open 3B canopy. Seems like something similar could work on other models, but I'm just a wanna-be builder at this point:)
http://picasaweb.google.com/airspeedzero/N313RVVansRV3BSN11366FredBauerJr#52044537293734950 26

Now that idea has possibilities. Just remove the canopy.....!!

flyer46
04-29-2009, 10:54 PM
I believe this is the excerpt from the article:

The way to eliminate the internal reflections is to tape brown wrapping paper to the inside of the canopy leaving a hole in each side to shoot from. I knew not to rest my camera against any part of the aircraft if I wanted sharp photos...

Was he flying on instruments only? Or VFR thru peep holes?

This is exactly what I want to avoid. The reflections are one thing, but the optical quality of any canopy I've ever seen are just not good. Why spend a bunch on a good lens if the photo is equivalent to shooting through a very poor lens?

I think a dedicated camera port, as suggeseted by others here is probably the best idea. But then the aircraft has to be positioned very carefully. Of course if the port is near my knee, I might still be able to control the camera without getting an image of the wing or prop. Still, kinda limiting....but better than nothing.

BikePilot
04-30-2009, 05:07 AM
Now that idea has possibilities. Just remove the canopy.....!!

Yep, looks mighty fun too! Just make sure you've got a good grip on the camera before you do any negative g:p

kentb
04-30-2009, 10:16 AM
Anyone know the airport in the picture above?

Kent

flyer46
05-01-2009, 12:05 AM
Hi Kent,
Well I'm guessing PHDH... Dillingham
http://www.airnav.com/airport/PHDH

It looks correct when I rotate Google Earth to a viewing location

Who knows for sure?

John Severyn

Webb
05-01-2009, 06:22 AM
In the first post you said you have a slider. Seems like I read that you can fly with the canopy open a few inches as long as you keep the speed down.

Put a slide lock on it and go fly at 100 knots and shoot through the gap. Call Van's to see how big the gap can be.

Or is this one of those, catch the picture at a moments notice?

MSFT-1
05-01-2009, 07:51 AM
I have done a bit of souring out of there a few times over the years.

One rather disconcerting thing is that the outdoor set of the television show LOST is on the beach very near there. So you look down while on downwind and see a very realistic airliner wreckage spewed all over the beach.

Danny7
05-01-2009, 08:40 AM
I've flown 12ish hours of gliders at dillingham airport, 10+ years ago. That looks like it as best i can remember. great strip, great gliding- s ee thebig ridge on the right- it is about 90 degrees to the prevailing trade winds-i never learned much about thermals there, but i could stay up as long as i wanted with ridge lift.

Greg Arehart
05-01-2009, 11:40 AM
RE: the original post. I have built into my right wing a camera port (similar to inspection plate, slightly larger, one bay out) and have a setup with a Canon 12 mpxl camera on X-Y gimbals. Will tilt left-right, forward-aft by about 30 degrees (the rest you can do with the airplane...). It is operated remotely from a laptop in the cockpit, including everything from focus and ISO settings to zoom and shutter release (BreezeSystems makes this remote software for several different cameras). Laptop provides real-time viewing and a max-res photo takes about 1 sec to shoot. I recently flew over some of the rhyolite domes near Mono Lake CA at 6000 agl and shot the attached photo. Zooming in on the original electronically, I can see individual trees and bushes. The photo was taken with NO optical zoom. I haven't fully tested all this yet, but suspect that at max optical zoom, the airplane will be going too fast to get a focused picture.

I plan to post some details here once I have really finished testing, but meanwhile if anyone is really champing at the bit for info, email me directly (arehart at unr.edu) or pm.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3128/panumcrater.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=panumcrater.jpg)

greg

flyer46
05-01-2009, 05:49 PM
Van's says the slider must stay closed while in flight. But don't think I haven't been tempted. But the thought of losing the canopy in flight..... well I will not do it. There is a good reason for the locking pins at the end of the canopy travel in the closed direction.

flyer46
05-01-2009, 05:54 PM
RE: the original post. I have built into my right wing a camera port (similar to inspection plate, slightly larger, one bay out) and have a setup with a Canon 12 mpxl camera on X-Y gimbals. Will tilt left-right, forward-aft by about 30 degrees (the rest you can do with the airplane...). It is operated remotely from a laptop in the cockpit, including everything from focus and ISO settings to zoom and shutter release (BreezeSystems makes this remote software for several different cameras). Laptop provides real-time viewing and a max-res photo takes about 1 sec to shoot. I recently flew over some of the rhyolite domes near Mono Lake CA at 6000 agl and shot the attached photo. Zooming in on the original electronically, I can see individual trees and bushes. The photo was taken with NO optical zoom. I haven't fully tested all this yet, but suspect that at max optical zoom, the airplane will be going too fast to get a focused picture.

I plan to post some details here once I have really finished testing, but meanwhile if anyone is really champing at the bit for info, email me directly (arehart at unr.edu) or pm.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3128/panumcrater.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=panumcrater.jpg)

greg

Yes Greg,
Please tell us more. This sounds VERY interesting. I have also PMd you, but I'll bet many would like to know the details of your setup.
Thanks,
JS

N62XS
05-01-2009, 08:07 PM
John:

I've shot from the passenger seat in everything from a J-3 to F-16s. I agree that when at all possible, eliminate the plexiglass, but most guys I see shooting fail to clean the plexiglass properly. When I travelled, I carried Meguiers Plastic cleaner and cloth diapers. I had the TA4J plane captians at MCAS Beaufort buying it for me after a couple of majors saw how it cleaned their canopies. Good photos can be made from inside RVs, Doug and others prove that every day, but the best photos are usually taken from a high wing plane with the door removed. I prefer a faster Cessna for most everything with a prop. I do not think opening the canopy in an RV will afford you the options and angle selections a Cessna will.

I used to travel literally all over the world with the Arizona KC-135 ANG squadron and the KC-130 USMC squadron out of MCAS Cherry Point. The boomer's couch and a half open rear ramp were the best seats to catch jets. One had glass(cleaned prior to departure) the other had exhaust.

My suggestion would be to clean canopies, remove doors and experiment. I hope you enjoy aviation photography as much as I do.

Danny7
05-01-2009, 10:42 PM
if you have a slider you could always try flying with it open:

http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=33413

i think top speed was 113 before wind forces closed the canopy.

Webb
05-18-2009, 06:27 AM
This was on another post by Bob Axsom but watch the video. It has a window in the canopy.

http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunday-night/...watch/13510849