Out and about with Airpup

I’ve been out flying the full-size Airpup and tweaking the rigging over the past two months.

Below are some of the photos and videos I’ve been taking.

Back Airpup on Crowd Supply.

My previous post introducing the scale Airpup.

My usual rig is my Galaxy S7 phone and a Feigyu SPG gimbal, weighing 572g (1lb 4.2 oz). This is just about the maximum payload possible from 37cu. ft. of helium.

Because Airpup is a kite balloon, I’ve been able to fly this camera rig in a light breeze even with Airpup partially filled with air and overweight.

rigging takes

I added a spar across Airpup’s tail to increase stability. After working through a few iterations, I used some winglets that distributed tension and solved the stability issues.

Before winglets:

pre-winglets, photo Colleen Donaldson

After winglets:

winglets on airpup, photo Colleen Donaldson

I also tried a radical re-rigging with a more traditional stabilization system– tail fins. These worked great at very low wind speed, but would need stabilizing cables to work in higher winds. I may return to tailfins (as the winglets give a good mounting point for stabilizing cables), but they aren’t necessary and increase rigging complexity.

tailfin rigging, photo Hugh Lippincott

Header image by Jayne Meacham