Flight of the “Mynah Bird”

This HD video clip was posted to youtube this week…

VIDEO>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOE87pu7-vM <<<VIDEO

     The “Mynah Bird” aircraft was built for the specific prospect of shooting HD background plates for a scene from a Hollywood movie being filmed in Vancouver in spring, 2009.

     Unfortunately, a mysterious design flaw kept it grounded and it wasn’t able to fly for the film. It took a month to solve the design issue, and here you see it in the midst of it’s first on-board HD cam flight.

     In-frame, you see the bottom of the nose which remained for flight testing, but would be modified and not visible in working flights. The “Mynah Bird’s” failure left a sore spot with me since it was a huge opportunity to have a bit of work on a Hollywood movie (my friend Liz directing), but I’m growing nostaligic for this plane that seemed impossible to fly, but ultimately did…The flight captured here was a test flight, and not flown for the tecnique that would have been used to get a steady film “take”….

     I was extremely nervous and concerned to just get the expensive camera back safely on the ground…as this plane had an extensive history of not getting off the ground at all. Now that I’m used to flying the HD camera on routine successful flights on a different plane (Which is designed to take stills, not cinema shots), maybe I’ll give the design an overhaul and the get “Mynah Bird” flying again.

     Trivia: The plane was conceived, designed and built in about a week. (Including selection and purchase of the flight camera) Flight testing in Mn was impossible due to a major snowstorm…it was too late and expensive to ship the plane to Vancouver, so it travelled onboard the jet  in the plane’s closet…the plane was so heavy it seemed impossible it would fly…in spite of prior testing and calculations that said it would. The plane did not go airborne in Vancouver after several attempts. It took a few weeks to solve the problem, which was the design center of gravity was based on the original airframe’s CG, and that turned out to be 1/2 inch off from where it was supposed to be. This first HD flight was one month to the day of the first attempt in Vancouver. There were about 15 succesful pre-camera test flights. The plane was grounded after 5 camera tests…The HD cam now flies routinely without complications for FlightFlash.com in a new plane designed for still photos.

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