[Bell Historians] Drones

Peter Whisker peter at whisker.org.uk
Thu Mar 10 08:43:07 GMT 2022


The sub-250g weight drones require no training or licence and ones like 
the DJI Mini 2 give an amazing live picture with their 4k steerable 
video camera and 12MP stills. They fly for half an hour on one charge.

The altitude limit is 400' I believe. They are £400-£500 to buy - my son 
has one - and they seem very popular.


On 09/03/2022 12:50, La Greenall via Bell-historians wrote:
> I can't answer the expense problem, but a few years back our local 
> hist soc held an outdoor event in the grounds of Waltham Abbey (the 
> ruined abbey not the town), and decided we'd like some aerial shots. 
> We found a fully qualified drone operator locally whose main work was 
> surveying people's roofs etc., and he jumped at the chance to video 
> such an event. Of course, lots of paperwork was indeed required, 
> especially with flying near a large crowd, but we managed it and he 
> had the professional licence.
> The point is that he was so pleased to be allowed to video something 
> interesting for a change. It would be worth exploring the issues with 
> drones near an airport - if the operator is fully trained they may be 
> able to obtain permission under strict conditions. Plus of course, 
> they will most likely have the very latest all-singing drone with 
> superb optical capabilities.
> Lastly, if the drone's camera can be set to take multiple still photos 
> in succession, then they can be processed using photogrammetry, and 
> that will give you very accurate dimensions in three axes of all the 
> surfaces that get photographed. This is used a lot by archaeologists 
> when making aerial surveys of sites and buildings. In fact, why not 
> approach a nearby archaeological group for advice and leads?
> Lawrence Greenall
> Lawrence
> On 09/03/2022 10:58, c.j.pickford--- via Bell-historians wrote:
>> I used one – quite expensively! – to look at a couple of turret bells 
>> in Luton a few months before the first lockdown.
>> In one case, where the far side of the turret is completely invisible 
>> from the adjacent land we got a good result – a clear reading of the 
>> inscription.
>> In the other, where the bell is quite high but partly concealed under 
>> a roof extension gable – we didn’t get anything better than I’d 
>> already obtained with a long lens (I now have a decent telephoto lens 
>> and intend to have another go next time I’m passing). In that case, 
>> there is a small maker’s badge on the waist and the drone couldn’t 
>> get close enough.
>> We couldn’t even attempt to use the drone at a third church – again, 
>> the inscription is on the far side of the bell and not visible from 
>> the ground at all. It’s close to Luton airport and in a zone where 
>> drone flying is strictly controlled. A reminder that there are rules 
>> regarding the use of drones and proper permissions are needed to fly 
>> on church property.
>> The other problem is wind. It was quite windy on the day in question 
>> and only just safe to fly the drone. The drone was buffeted by the 
>> wind and thus not stable enough to get very clear photos.
>> It was worth a try, and I was pleased with the one positive result. 
>> But (as Peter Hayward wryly observed shortly afterwards) the drone 
>> can’t measure diameters!!
>> */Chris Pickford/*
>> Kinver (UK)
>> e-mail: pickford5040 at gmail.com <mailto:pickford5040 at gmail.com>
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