CatsEyes Aerial Photography


Hello, and welcome to CatsEyes Aerial Photography. This site is about using radio controlled (R/C) aircraft for Aerial Photography (AP) for researching and documenting rail history.

Update 2016

June 19, 2016: Embarassingly, I had not updated this site in 4 years! For personal reasons I have not been able to pursue my aerial photograpy interest during this time, and the world of aerial platforms has not been idle. Unless you've been living under a rock you know that the "drone" phenomenon has just exploded. Therein lies a bit of a quandry for me. A multirotor craft was definitely the next logical step after my various fixed-wing platforms (documented here). But you can buy a "drone" at Best Buy and Staples for heaven's sake! Anybody with a few hundred bucks to plunk down can end up with a "drone." The control systems are so sophisticated that you don't even need piloting skills to "fly" the thing. Where's the fun in that?

I will probably pick up a multirotor at some point anyway, just to have it for close-in photographic missions, but it looks like I am headed in an entirely different direction. I had been thinking vaguely about an autonomous flight vehicle for some time. I had even gotten so far as to begin some preliminary planning -- some ideas about decoding the receiver output etc. However, a bit of Internet research has revealed that,to a large extent, this would be "reinventing the wheel." There are already "auto-pilots" out there that are quite capable of autonomous flight, among a great many other things.

So the AF Vehicle project starts and I am writing about it blog-style. I have incorporated the old page as a series of "historical" entries. Check it out here.

Platform status

No, I never did get around to maidening the Cat's Eye 2, although it was mostly finished. The ground station leaves a lot to be desired, and I was never happy with the landing gear. Of course, you expect to work things out on such a project, but somehow I just didn't quite have the confidence that I had with the Cat's Eye 1. It seems a shame not to try it, just for fun and maybe I'll earmark a weekend for just that. But it's not a high priority.

The Cat's Eye 1 still exists, and AFAIK is still airworthy. I managed to lose the camera that I was using for it, but have now built a mount for an older camera using (can you believe it?) a servo as the shutter trigger. How retro!