started dabbling with aerial photography in 1994,
making use of a Powered Paraglider. This marvellous
craft allowed ideal positioning on site and was
a stable platform, operating at a very low cost.
Perhaps the only drawback to a PPG was it’s
limitations in terms of speed, allowing for only
one target site per outing. So whilst the PPG
provided a low operating cost, it was not productive.
The aircraft currently used has ‘the legs’
to go out and position for the capture of 6 –
10 sites in the same time frame. Economics were
thus improved for all.
aircraft of choice now is a top wing Rainbow Cheetah
and whilst registered in the Microlight category,
it is equipped with a rated aviation engine and
the same avionics as that found on any light aircraft.
The Cheetah’s most favoured attributes are
the very easily removable doors, a very slow loitering
speed for photography and yet the speed to travel
quickly to distant sites. Most important of all
is that the Cheetah’s operating cost is
about a quarter of that for small helicopters
and light commercial aircraft. It is this aspect
in particular which translates into ‘Affordable
Aerial Photography’ and related services
for the consumer.