Chopper Nose Mounts for Varicam in the Munich/Austria Region
Published : 19th September 2009
Hi everyone !
I am looking for a Nosemount which would fit our Chopper AS-355/TwinStar and can handle the Varicam with the short Zeiss DigiZoom.
As far as my research goes, it´s very hard to get that mount here in Salzburg/Munich or around. And unfortunately the production company cannot afford to fly it in from far abroad.
So if anyone has an idea.. please let me know !
The One-Day-Shoot will happen in about two weeks...
>> I am looking for a Nosemount which would fit our Chopper AS-355/TwinStar and can handle the >>Varicam with the short Zeiss DigiZoom.
You didn't specify what type of Nosemount you're looking for. I assume from your mentioning the camera type and the cost factors involved, you're talking about a Tyler Nosemount. In order to install the Tyler Nosemount, the helo must be modified, and Al Guthrie's tabs installed. It's not a difficult proposition, but first the aircraft owner must purchase the STC from Al and then have the work done.
In any event, no type of nosemount will fit a an AS-355or AS 350 without some modifications or the shipping in of external brackets for such mounts as the Wescam or Spacecam, as well as the rigs themselves.
The most cost effective way to proceed would be to find someone who has a Bell Jet ranger or Long Ranger, since the Tyler Nose Mount is designed to fit these aircraft without any modifications.
IA 600 DP
Lutz Hattenhauer wrote:
>>I am looking for a Nosemount which would fit our Chopper AS-355/TwinStar and can handle the >>Varicam ...
Brian Heller wrote:
>> ... Jet ranger or Long Ranger, since the Tyler Nose Mount is designed to fit these aircraft without any >>modifications.
Be very cautious using a Varicam on an un-stabilised nose-mount with the Jet/ Long Ranger. The combination of vibration from the twin rotor blades, and the small diameter head drum on Panasonic cameras can cause the heads to lose contact with the tape.
Unless you use a VTR inside the cabin, of course ...
DP - Operator - F23 Trained
Andrew McClymont wrote:
>> Be very cautious using a Varicam on an un-stabilised nose-mount with the Jet / Long Ranger. The >>combination of vibration from the twin rotor blades, and the small diameter head drum on Panasonic >>cameras can cause the heads to lose contact with the tape.
I don't want to get into the number of blades myth again, but the number of blades -- Jet Ranger vs A-Star or Twin Star etc. -- is really unimportant. The only factors that count are the condition and maintenance of the aircraft and the tracking/balancing of the blades.
I recently shot with a Varicam (no deck inside) on a Tyler Nose Mount on the world's highest time Jet Ranger flying, N206BH, built in 1968. It was also one of the smoothest flying helicopters I've ever flown in. Other than bugs on the lens, there were no problems.
BTW, tape lift is usually caused by maneuvering of the aircraft in such a way that wind is allowed to enter the tape chamber. If you can't use a deck, the simplest cure is to seal the edges of the cassette loading door with tape.
A couple of other points regarding the Tyler Nose Mount and Jet Rangers :
1. You can see the camera and lens through the chin bubble so if anything is going awry -- such as bugs on the lens -- you can see it.
2. It is much easier to track and balance 2 blades than 3, or 4, or 5.
3. Unlike the AS-350 or AS-355, if you don't feel any vibration on a Jet Ranger, there won't be any at the camera. Due to the vibration damping system used on AS-350s and 355s, it is possible to feel no vibration in the cabin, but have a great deal of vibration on the nose mount, especially with the tab mods for mounting a Tyler Nose Mount.
4. The humble Jet Ranger has the highest safety record of any helicopter type. I think it may also have the highest safety record of any type aircraft, but that record may have been superseded by some newer aircraft types that have not been around as long.
>> Unless you use a VTR inside the cabin, of course ...
This is the best way to ensure that there are no recording issues, but it won't prevent camera or lens vibration which would simply be recorded on the deck instead of in the camera.
A couple of other tips: no matter what type of aircraft --- keep the deck on the seat and not on the floor, and check the recorded tape very carefully on the ground with a decent monitor.
IA 600 DP
I agree with Brian.....
I have rigged tape based cameras in a lot of high vibration environments including of course Jet Rangers. In my opinion...if the mount or entire aircraft is vibrating enough to induce recording errors...the pictures you are capturing are most likely quite marginal anyhow.
The Tyler nose mount really needs the most amazingly balanced chopper money can buy. Most of the time you don't get a chance to test fly a bunch of aircraft and be choosy.
Also, I have had better luck with small drums rather than larger ones (ie.Varicam v. F900). The light weight and small diameter of a Varicam drum give inertia less to work with. I mounted an F900 on a roller coaster and had dropouts in the high vibration and high G areas. I did not see these problems with a Varicam on the same rig. Ultimately the best solution was a separate dampened recorder and a T950 head with a prime. Less weight less inertia to jiggle the mount.
DIT - Custom Machine
Tyler nose and Jet Ranger with Varicam should not give you any problems. You must stay on wide angle lenses though.
You can rig a libra head to a Jet Ranger as a nose mount. It's a pretty attractive option in my opinion and only marginally more expensive than a Tyler nose mount. I don't know who does it in Europe but I can refer you to a guy who likes to travel...
>> Tyler nose and Jet Ranger with Varicam should not give you any problems.
That's been my continuing experience.
>> You must stay on wide angle lenses though.
My experience on that has been a little different. People routinely and successfully zoom with the Tyler Nose Mount. In fact, Tyler has offered a zoom control with the Nose Mount for years. (I prefer using a Microforce video zoom control rather than the Tyler control myself.)
However, good results at longer lens focal length depend more on the condition and maintenance of the helo, than on focal length alone. Good results also depend on the experience and skill of the pilot -- since the pilot is really the camera operator -- and, of course, results depend greatly on the weather.
With everything in your favor, you can zoom in quite a bit; on the other hand, if things are against you, then even 4mm is too long .In any event, with an RCU, you can check your results and adjust the focal length accordingly without having to land.
P.S. If you do use an RCU and a Microforce, bring lots of Velcro to attach the RCU & Microforce to the Tyler controller, and extension cables.
>> You can rig a libra head to a Jet Ranger as a nose mount.
You can rig anything to anything on the ground. But for aircraft it's a very different story, and it's not so simple.
The Libra is a wonderful device, but AFAIK, the Libra does not have an STC or even an ATC approval from the FAA. That doesn't mean a Libra can't or hasn't been installed on a helo, but it does mean that without an STC or ATC, it can't be done legally without specific inspection regarding its airworthiness on any particular aircraft, and on that particular installation.
No A&P mechanic is going to sign off on anything without the paper work. More importantly, AFAIK, Libra does not supply any kind of brackets for mounting a Libra to any helo, approved or not, which means that to be legal someone would have to design some sort of brackets, get the design approved, find an approved shop to fabricate them, and then get them approved for installation. Not an inexpensive or quick proposition.
Also installation of a Libra would seriously affect the weight and balance of the aircraft, which would require some type of counterbalancing -- usually weight in the tail, which requires the removal and replacement of a number of cowlings and components, and a repeat of the process to remove the weight after the job.
Of course, if you're going to be flying over some uninhabited desert you might be able to get approval for adapting someone else's approved (STC'd)brackets (Wescam, Cineflex, Spacecam), but over a city? In Germany? It is very unlikely anyone would be willing to sign off the paperwork. And if they did, and Heaven forbid, something should anything go wrong, any illegal or irregular installation could invalidate the insurance.
>> It's a pretty attractive option in my opinion and only marginally more expensive than a Tyler nose mount.
It's marginally more expensive only if you compare list price to list price. When you add in the mounting costs along with bringing in brackets, an operator and tech for the Libra, the Tyler is much more cost effective. It's also very easy to use. With only a few minutes of instruction and an practiced pilot, just about any experienced camera person can get very acceptable results with a
Tyler Nose Mount -- first time out.
Back to the original post : Isn't MHS (Munich Helicopter Service) right in Munich?
IA 600 DP
Brian Heller :
>>Back to the original post:? Isn't MHS (Munich Helicopter Service) right in Munich?
Yes, MHS is in Munich. They have Tyler Mount, Wescam , Continental Mount and Nose Mount.
Contact: Heico Zimmer, +49 89 973330
I assisted on a job with them once, everything perfect.
Philipp Chudalla, BVK
Materialassistent / 2nd AC