AirFoil Aviation started in the late 1990's with a powered parachute and a camera mounted to the bottom of the unit
Fast forward to 2011 and the company has developed a state of the art unit called a quad with a camera, that only weighs a few ounces, mounted underneath the unit.
John Ohnemus started the company and has been creating the aircraft like units for over a decade. And most of these units have cameras mounted on the underneath side of them to take pictures and to shoot video. The latest invention Ohnemus has come up with is called a quad. It's something that is similar to a helicopter, but yet it doesn't have any of the pre flight requirements or rotors like a helicopter.
"We have no failure points. I mean it's literally four engines, three phase engines driven by speed controls, driven by computer, driven by auto pilot that tells it what to do and I don't have to do a pre flight. It's literally linking on to a satellite and I'm just hooking up my video downlink, so I can see what it sees when it's in the air while it's doing it," said Ohnemus.
The quad was first used shortly after the deadly tornado hit Joplin Missouri back on May 22nd. It shot still photographs for the National Weather Service. And just last week, we had John show us how the quad could work on a breaking news story when there was a minor train derailment in West Quincy. He says this unit is something that can be used by television stations, first responders or anyone that is needing to see more of something from an overhead aerial shot.
"Now we have enough electronics on board, you could learn how to fly this in two to three weeks. Be really efficient with it. You are using satellites now. It's literally flown by a micro processor. It eliminates the flight time. I mean the flight training and all that stuff," said Ohnemus.
As you can see, the cameras that are used come in different sizes as well. Everything from the full size still photograph camera to the smaller video cam that was used when the unit flew over the train derailment. Ohnemus says just like your cell phone, technology continues to be upgraded allowing for smaller cameras to provide better quality pictures.