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Tail boom

Image by kind permission of John Heiney

The advent of lighter digital cameras has relieved the problem of attaching aerial cameras to the extremities of microlights and hang gliders. Care obviously must be taken not to upset the delicate balance of the craft. Even moderately heavy equipment attached to a wing tip or tail boom may have a significant effect.

In this image, a remotely-controlled camera has been attached to a long retractable tail boom and is directed forwards. By using a wide-angle lens, it is consequently possible to obtain good images showing the pilot's back, the underneath of the wing and the view ahead. Note that the boom is supported by a king post and cord. The boom can be angled upward for taking-off and landing, and extended downward during flight for photographic purposes.

John Heiney, the creator of the boom, reports that it is possible to loop the hang glider with the camera boom in place. The gravity that holds it in place in normal flight must then be replaced by sufficient G-force to prevent it from retracting.


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