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Remote Aerial Filming UK - mountains drone filming UK flying glass
Remote Aerial Filming UK - Octocopter drone filming UK flying glass
Remote Aerial Filming UK - Sony F55 4K Cine Alta drone filming UK flying glass
  • Our UK remote aerial filming crew comprise the best RC helicopter pilots, and professional, highly experienced camera operators. This gives us an unrivaled ability to deliver exceptional shots, and create beautiful flowing sequences for your production.
  • We can fly any camera such as the Arri Alexa Mini, Red Weapon Dragon, Sony F55, Phantom Flex 4K or Varicam LT. Our most comprehensive and flexible remote aerial filming system to date is the Shotover U1.
  • The Shotover U1 drone combines operational flexibility with high resolution imagery, able to shoot on any camera, either 6K, 4K, 2K or 1080HD recording, and the ability to shoot slomo up to 1000fps. It comes with full Preston lens remote control of zoom, focus and iris, that works on shot, in the air. Images are transmitted to base by a licenced, Cobham HD down-link, on a reserved frequency, suitable for LIVE transmission. There is also the possibility of full engineering control of colourimetry and racking of the camera if required. This system is perfect for aerial shots of sporting events and other OBs.
  • We can operate indoors, outdoors, or transition between the two (with iris control on our fully controllable lenses included in our Shotover U1 drone camera system). We have different sized machines, capable of carrying different weights, at different speeds. So whether you’re filming high altitude panoramas, slow and close tracking shots or high-speed vehicle tracking shots, we can shoot them all and more.
We operate numerous remote controlled drones and they vary in size and weight lifting capacity, as well as the maximum speed at which they can fly. We will advise you on the most suitable configuration and aircraft for your remote aerial filming or surveying needs:
  • The drones have anything from 4 to 8 propellers, powered by electric motors, which are mounted to a carbon fibre airframe.
  • They provide superb maneuverability, stability, accuracy and finesse at slow speeds, with a maximum speed of about 25mph.
  • The camera gimbal is mounted below the drone, meaning that it has the ability to pan 360º around the scene.
  • All the drones are battery powered, meaning that they are relatively quiet, pollution-free and can be used outdoors, or indoors or in sensitive habitats.
  • Apart from the Shotover U1, which we are excited is coming in 2016, all our drones are custom built by Adam, our chief pilot, who is also a qualified mechanical and electronics engineer, so knows the workings of our aircraft inside-out.
  • Whilst there is an expanding range of readily available multirotor aircraft in the UK marketplace, these aircraft can often be viewed as easy to fly. However, this is not always the case, and safety could easily be compromised without a professional operator, particularly with the large multirotor aircraft that Flying Glass operates. To precisely and safely execute and repeat the manoeuvres necessary for professional remote aerial filming requires a very high degree of skill and experience.
As no two shoots are the same, with different requirements in different circumstances, Flying Glass works on a job-by-job basis when quoting. Once we’ve established your individual needs and calculated your requirements, we can taylor a package to suit you and your production.

Apart from the kit and the crew, there are also other factors which may affect the quotation including the time of year, location of shoot, weather or shooting conditions, risk management, exceptional CAA approvals. For a more detailed breakdown of costs, and a package tailored to suit you, please contact us.

Here is a list of links that you may find useful when researching or planning your remote aerial filming project. Please feel free to contact us if you want any assistance, or have any questions!

  • Calculate lens angles for different camera formats: Lens Calculator
  • Check airspace classifications and live NOTAMS: Skydemon Light
  • For the latest accurate weather conditions: MetCheck
  • Comprehensive UK aviation information, including for UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems): Civil Aviation Authority
  • Training, qualifying and accreditation body for C.A.A Permission for Aerial Work in UK: Euro USC // Resource UAT
  • Professional trade association for Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Systems in the UK: ARPAS UK
  • Leading stabilized gimbal manufacturer: Shotover
  • Camera stabilization for drones: Freefly Systems
  • Planning aid and guide to UK no-fly drone zones: No Fly Drones
  • Online portal for remote aerial filming stock footage: Airstoc
  • Online tool for calculating height above sea level at any location: Altitude
  • Manufacturer of smaller drones and gimbals: DJI
  • Online portal for general and aerial stock footage: Nimia
  • Online portal for general and aerial stock footage: Shutterstock
  • To view a current copy of our CAA approved Permission For Aerial Work click here.
  • To view a current copy of our public liability insurance, to the value of £10 million click here.
  • To view a current copy of our Terms and Conditions click here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There are many companies now offering drone filming services. Some evolved from RC hobbyist pilots who thought it’d be a good idea to try filming. Others are run by cameramen who thought RC multirotors looked like a useful filming tool, but then with relatively little experience, decided to fly the aircraft themselves.

We take a different approach. We believe that to excel, we can’t take half measures. So we have found one of the best RC Heli pilots, with hundreds of hours of experience flying remote controlled helicopters, and teamed him up with professional, highly experienced, and creative camera operators.

We believe that this gives us an unrivaled ability to deliver exceptional shots, create beautiful flowing sequences and add depth and vision to the narrative of your production.

We believe that we are the only company using multi-rotor drones to fly remotely controlled 14:1 zoom lenses on the Sony F55. We can offer control whilst in the air, of zoom, focus and iris and we use licenced frequency Cobham live downlinks, with the possibility of full engineering control of colourimetry and racking of the camera if required. This system is perfect for aerial shots of sporting events and other OBs.

Our heavy lift drone, carrying the Freefly MoVi can carry a camera payload of 4.5Kg. This would typically setup with the Alexa Mini, F55 or Red Weapon Dragon and a Zeiss Compact Prime with lens control.

The Shotover U1 Drone will carry considerably more weight. Up to 10Kg. So this allows for an amazing selection of cameras and lenses, including Angenieux, Canon, Fujinon zooms and primes up to the Arri Master Primes or even Cooke Anamorphics.

We can also fly the Phantom Flex 4K for Slo-mo.

We have different lens parameters for each camera setup, so please ask us if you have any special requirements.

Our Shotover U1 flagship remote aerial filming system includes the ability to shoot with zoom lenses, giving incredible flexibility in the speed, style and proximity of your aerial shots.

The Shotover U1 drone is built to optimize weight and flight times.

It allows for outstanding shot flexibility, meaning that anywhere within the flight envelope (a huge range of 500m line of sight, up to a height of 400ft) we can provide:

▪ Fully stabilized, 4K 6K or UHD or 1000fps recordings on various cameras.

▪ Complete control of zoom, focus and iris functions on the zoom lenses – whilst on shot, in the air.

▪ A broadcast specification, interference-free, Cobham HD downlink on a licenced frequency to provide a solid, long range HD feed. This can be used for LIVE Outside Broadcast. It also provides full resolution, stable HD monitoring on OLED HD monitors at the groundstation, along with onscreen camera and lens data.

▪ The ability to record, via our HD downlink to the base station, a master, a backup or a proxy file in any format you chose*. We also save media storage space with a remote stop/start facility, reducing your rushes to the minimum required, and not rolling during take off and landing.

▪ The latest large, high resolution HD OLED monitors for accurate composition, colour reproduction and level monitoring on location. These can also allow accurate and immediate replay facilities.

▪ A fully encrypted, wireless, duplex intercom system meaning that the pilot and cameraman are in permanent communication. This is critical for safety, and to ensure that shots are achieved, whatever the environment or circumstances the pilot and cameraman find themselves in.

▪ On location 5Kw power supply to ensure continuity of supply for the considerable battery requirements of the aircraft and camera kit and monitoring.

▪ The option of full engineering control of colourimetry and racking of the camera if required.

Most RC aerial filming companies use relatively cheap Wi-Fi or open-frequency based video transmission systems, be that SD or HD, which can be prone to interference.

However, as standard, our Sony F55 Ultimate Drone system comes with a Cobham HD downlink on a fully licenced frequency. This is a high-spec, top-of-the-range system, with a transmission range well beyond that which we can practically use. It will provide a rock-solid, high resolution HD link, operating solely on the determined licenced frequency, thereby avoiding any possible interference from other transmitters. This means that there is no downtime on a shoot because of interference. The HD link is also ideal for LIVE transmissions for TV (as it meets all broadcast specs), and also opens up the possibility of recording at the base station, subject to suitable formats*.

Once you’ve decided that you want to use our drone filming services, we will take you through the process, from conception to completion:

▪ Discussing your vision and requirements for any scenes, shots and sequences envisaged.

▪ Looking at any location and action logistics.

▪ Specifying camera and aircraft technical requirements.

▪ Facilitating all remote aerial filming licence, permission and insurance obligations.

▪ Co-ordinating our crews with your production to ensure a smooth running shoot.

▪ Delivering the shots on the day. (weather permitting!)

We are fully mobile, and equipped with a 4WD vehicle, so can access the most awkward locations. All the kit is flight cased, so it can be carried or transported to the unit base. We have our own power supply systems for charging batteries and powering monitors and the camera systems.

It should take roughly half-an-hour to setup base and prep the aircraft and camera equipment for the first shot.

Once on location, repositioning is straightforward and quick, so different setups can be easily achieved.

The pilot has the final say on any flight matters or shot requirements and all crew and participants must adhere to his commands when the aircraft is in the air. This is for everyone’s safety.

We can only fly when and where the pilot has clear visibility and line-of-sight control of the aircraft.

There is a pilot, who has ultimate responsibility for operation of the aircraft and the safety of all persons around it.

There is also a camera operator who operates the camera, lens and stabilized gimbal on a separate controller. They are in close, constant communication and it is the camera operator’s responsibility to liaise with the director and communicate the requirements for the shot to the pilot.

Depending on requirements, a focus puller may be responsible for focussing and/or exposing the shots. It is usually also preferable to have another person on the ground for safety, acting as an assistant and marshal.

▪ The drone must always be in line-of-sight of the pilot.

▪ It must be within a range of 500 metres horizontally and no higher than 400ft.

▪ The drone must remain at least 50 metres away from any vehicle, vessel, structure or person that is not under the direct control of the pilot.

▪ During take-off or landing this limit is reduced to 30 metres. If the subject is under our direct control, then it is up to the pilot’s discretion.

We fly our drones under strict regulation from the Civil Aviation Authority. All our crew are BNUC-S qualified – the official qualification required for piloting RC aircraft in the UK. We also have a detailed flight manual, which dictates where, when, and how the drone can be used, and also how close it can be to different people.

We have built-in redundancy in the event of a problem and can withstand the failure of up to two motors whilst still enabling a safe landing. The drones have highly advanced, GPS assisted flight control systems which also provide a safety fail-safe. In the unlikely event that the drone loses communication with the pilot’s transmitter, it will recall and locate the take-off area, and automatically return there safely.

Preferably dry conditions, because the complex electronics on the heavy lift drone are vulnerable to damage by moisture. The Shotover U1 is weather resistant, so please talk to us about its capabilities.
The drones  can operate up to wind speeds of about 18mph. Lower wind speeds make for an easier and more successful shoot with noticable improvement in the stability of the shots. Other drones and camera combinations have different limitations. Please ask for details
On average, we can achieve around 8.5 minutes per battery load. We can change the batteries and be up in the air again in only a few minutes and obviously have a large supply of batteries and chargers.