Such a thing possible? Newbie wannabe question

As is my way, my post wasn't as clear as it could have been.
I'm not looking for 24x7 coverage. Should I hear a noise, see a parked/ slow moving car or have a suspicion, I want to be able to launch to observe/confirm.
The problem with stationary cameras is I have to hope "the bad guys" do what I don't want them to where the cameras are. Plus the cost of all those cameras (not to mention the effort to get them hung) is higher then I'd hope to spend.
I don't mind putting in time to learn to fly. But I don't believe this will become a hobby, so by easy to fly I mean that any flight skills I need to learn will be easy to retain (so 3 months from now I get the "flying tool" out, I can still use it).
I know of the flight time limitations of electric. I hoped that gas would provide longer flight times. Not true?
Very heavily wooded, so almost certainly out-of-sight flying abilities is a must.
I'll Google the blimp idea (slow and quiet would be pluses)
Video would be optimal, but stills would work too.
Appreciate the responses, the debate and alternate suggestions.
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| Live out in the boonies. This would be used to catch folks dumping | garbage, illegal hunting, aerial shots of the house.
As for aerial shots, you can do that much more simply.
Here's a bunch of pictures ...
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... that I took with an Aiptek 1.3MP SD camera taped with masking tape to my plane. I bought it at
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for $65, and it was even modified it to give it a plug to connect to my RX so I can take pictures by pushing a button on my TX. (However, since it will take about 400 pictures in it's 128 MB card (and I could go bigger) I generally just it it in `take a picture every 2 seconds or so' mode and concentrate on flying.
I did this from an 8' wing span electric glider (you can often see the shadow), but the camera is small enough (under 2 oz) that you could strap it to most planes with little trouble. A Slow Stick is a popular choice.
Note that these pictures are OK, but better cameras can take much better ones. Also note how hard it is to make out individual people (let alone tell what they're doing!) and then let me tell you that any camera that actually beams the picture back to a screen on the ground in real time is not likely to have a picture anywhere near as good as this unless you spend thousands of dollars on it (and have a much bigger plane to mount it on.) And if you were trying to watch what people were doing, you'd need two people -- one to watch the video feed and one to fly the plane.
In case you're curious, the 2007-06-09 pictures are at the ASF field in Pflugerville, TX and the other two are at Zilker park in Austin, TX. The big pool you see in the Zilker park pictures is Barton Springs. Altitudes vary, but I doubt I went over 1500 feet for any of these pictures.
| Such a thing possible?
Yes. Practical? Much less certain.
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Doug McLaren
| Very heavily wooded, so almost certainly out-of-sight flying abilities | is a must.
OK, if it's heavily wooded, then you're not going to be able to see anything from the air but trees. Hopefully my pictures will show that nicely.
`Out-of-sight' is pretty much totally impractical for a number of reasons -- economic, technical, political and legal. And as the economic and technical issues become easier to deal with (with time and improving technology), I can almost guarantee that the political and legal issues will become harder to deal with.
| I'll Google the blimp idea (slow and quiet would be pluses)
The problem with blimps is that they're totally vulnerable to the wind -- if the wind is faster than your blimp, it's gone and there's nothing you can do about it. And blimps are very slow.
You might have better luck with a kite, however. It's cheap and simple too.
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As for quiet, you don't want gas then. Really, you want an electric glider so you can turn off the motor entirely. And that electric glider I was flying can easily stay up for an hour under good conditions.
Hopefully it's not so heavily wooded so you don't have a few hundred feet to land in. Also consider that if you're paying attention to a video feed, you're likely to crash your plane while you're not paying attention -- and if it's up in a tree, you may never find it. You can get lost plane alarms (loud beepers) that will help a whole lot, but even so it can be a needle in a haystack.
You don't want to pick up R/C to do surveillance. You want to pick up R/C to have fun with it, build up your skills, and then maybe you can toy with surveillance. But what you're proposing is likely to suck up lots of money, crash a lot and never actually produce any useful results.
Reply to
Doug McLaren
Unfortunately, all input seems to agree with your conclusion. Maybe a teathered balloon? Maybe not.
Found the perfect plane, looked like a smaller version of the drone's the military uses. But at several thousand dollars, think I can just walk.
Thanks again for all the input!!
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Without following all the thread - was a kite already mentioned?
I have flown NPW5's (2 line controllable "parachute" type, used for kite-buggying) that could almost lift my weight, and be positioned nearly vertical above my head.
Lifting a cam-pod (with some servo's for panning and tilting) would be no issue.
Off course no free flight this way, but a lot of height and some measure of control. Fearly cheap too.
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