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WNYW-TV deploys HD news helicopter in New York market

The Helinet/Cineflex HD camera system operates at up to 200mph with a 560mm zoom lens.

WNYW-TV, the FOX affiliate in New York City, has taken off with an American Eurocopter ASTAR B2 that can acquire aerial images in HD 1080i video.

Called SkyFox, the new aircraft is equipped with a Cineflex HiDef camera system and multiband microwave capabilities. The helicopter was built and supplied by Helinet Aviation Services and customized by Helinet’s engineering branch, Geneva Aviation.

The Helinet/Cineflex HD camera system, built around the Sony HDC-F950 camera, weighs 67lb.

Able to operate at up to 200mph with a 560mm zoom lens extended 2x to its full 1120mm, the Cineflex HD system also features the ability to span 360 degrees, with a 165-degree tilt, and +/- 45-degree roll, which is automatic and steerable.

Last year, KUSA-TV, NBC’s Denver affiliate, launched the first HD helicopter in the U.S. In May, ABC's KABC-TV, became the first station in Los Angeles to deploy a HD helicopter.

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