For the second Saturday in a row, I had some fun mounting my new GoPro Hero2 onto something unique in order to capture a cool vantage point. This time, I attached the camera to my stock Bixler remote control (RC) airplane and launched it into the wild blue yonder! If it seems like I’ve done this before, it’s because I flew Gumby on my old EasyStar plane just before Christmas 3 years ago. And if you remember that video, you also remember that the quality was far from perfect due to the live streaming downlink I used at the time. Well now that I have a high-definition GoPro, there’s no excuse for grainy video anymore, but as I found out, the quality still wasn’t quite perfect. I shot all of these clips in the 1080 30fps mode with full-width 170 degree field of view and you can certainly see the significant fisheye distortion along the horizon lines, so the next time I fly, I’ll try the slightly narrower 127 degree field of view which should significantly decrease the distortion. Another minor gripe is that the vibration of the electric motor resulted in a slight “jello-effect” if you look closely, but I’m hoping that the anti-vibration plug accessory will cut down on that on future flights. On the plus side, the plane flew extremely smoothly and there was no need to stabilize the video digitally in my video editing software. Overall, I’m thrilled with the footage from my first 4 flights and can’t wait to fly again!
And if you’re interested in how I mounted the camera, it really couldn’t have been easier. I reused the display mount from the packaging and simply trimmed it to fit within the cockpit area. In order to attach it, I wrapped two of the 2-sided velcro straps around the camera plate and the fuselage and voila, instant GoPro mount for my RC plane!