The use of aircraft for aerial photography and surveys

In Europe, aerial photography was used in the beginning only for mapping purposes. Its origin in the World War makes this easily understood. The creation of maps was the primary focus of countries at war, who had to deal with limited geographic information of their opponents.

The instrument firms started with the design of plotting instruments. Cameras and airplanes were of secondary importance. All available literature on aerial surveys in Europe in the years between 1920 and 1930 had as subject matter of plotting machines and theoretical problems regarding different instruments and practically nothing else.

Today, the quality of the photographic image itself, combined with the lower cost and rapid production of photographs and the possibility of repeating aerial photography to show changes in the earth’s surface, are all arguments for the application of aerial photography.

Initially aerial photography and surveying developed to include agricultural and geological problems, but later expanded to include a diverse selection of applications such as environmental conservation, population distribution and many more.

The emphasis has moved from purely considering the instruments, to the recording equipment, as well as the method of transporting the equipment. Until the development of drones, aircraft were the primary method of transport. Despite the popularity of drones as a cost-effective solution, the use of aircraft is still the most reliable and versatile option. Cameras and recording equipment are usually mounted under the wings or the bottom of the fuselage. Depending on the type of aircraft, complex equipment can even be installed inside the aircraft.

Contact Malta Wings for more information on customised aerial photography and surveying solutions.

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