Bell Helicopter chooses P2 to capture aerial maneuvers

Bell Helicopter Textron is using Panasonic DVCPRO P2 camcorders to capture aerial footage of its latest aircraft technology, including the new V-22 Osprey. The footage is being shot at Bell’s Visual Communications Center in Texas.

The AJ-SPX800 shoulder-mount and AG-HVX200 hand-held DVCPRO P2 solid-state camcorders are being employed to shoot Bell aircraft at high speeds and high altitudes.

Michael Neal, supervisor of communications services for Bell Helicopter, oversees the production of video footage to highlight the features of the company’s helicopters and aircraft technology. This includes the capture of in-flight shots as well as ground footage of aircraft for training and marketing activities.

At this year’s Farnborough International Air Show (FAS), held in the UK, Neal captured seven-minute flights of the company’s latest V-22 transport aircraft with the new P2 solid-state equipment, a Canon stabilizer lens and Anton Bauer batteries. He was able to get wide shots with the Canon stabilizer on the SPX800, and cockpit shots with the HVX200 camcorder.

Neal used 10 4GB P2 cards for the SPX800 and two 8GB cards for the HVX200 camera. On each shoot, he carried about five 4GB cards with 40 minutes of shooting time (DVCPRO50). After each shoot, Neal copied and consolidated all of the footage off the P2 cards onto a laptop, and after reviewing, made a DVD copy for backup in the field.

The Panasonic AG-HVX200 records in 1080i and 720p at 100Mb/s DVCPRO HD quality, with the ability to capture images in 21 record modes. The AJ-SPX800 offers three 2/3in 3-CCDs with 24fps and 30fps progressive and 60 fields interlace recording in 25Mb/s DVCPRO and 50Mb/s DVCPRO50 format on a P2 card. The camera features five PC card-sized P2 card slots, providing up to 80 minutes record capacity at DVCPRO and 40 minutes in DVCPRO50 with 4GB P2 cards.

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