MD 500 - Rugged Video - Airborne Video Systems Your SEO optimized title page contents

Hughes/MD 500

MD 500 Video Systems:

Rugged Video offers a number of video recorders, cameras, and complete systems for use on the MD 500 with multiple installation options.  Systems are listed below according to application, but equipment may be used for other applications.


  • Aerial Patrol
  • Flight Tours
  • Airborne Law Enforcement

Aerial Patrol

The MD500 Aerial Patrol system is designed to capture geotagged video from multiple cameras for Pipe and Power Line inspection, Corridor Mapping,  Wildlife Counts, or Aerial Survey.  Video can be captured from fixed 1080p60 HD cameras or a pre-existing gimbal.

Video Mounting Locations

Rugged Video offers a variety of installation options for video cameras and recorders on the MD 500.  Camera locations include:

  • Rugged Video Exterior Mount – Multiple cameras may be permanently mounted outside the aircraft.  Cameras offer full HD resolution and multiple lens options, making for an low cost alternative to a multi-sensor gimbal.
  • Chin Bubble Mount – Multiple cameras may be permanently mounted inside the aircraft shooting out of the chin bubble.

Geotagged Video

Video can be geotagged directly on the video, or with KML and GPX companion files.  This leads to three common methods of using the information.

Data on Video:  While in flight a pilot or spotter record live video and trigger snapshots via the CoPilot control unit or a handheld switch.   Captured snapshots are tagged with coordinates, heading, and altitude information and can be sent via email or added to work orders.  Geotagged video is available for reference with each frame tagged with GPS data.

Data & Video Viewing:  Videos are recorded with GPX and KML companion files.  These files can be opened in Google earth to see a 3D flight path.  The path can be tagged with waypoints in real time by the pilot or spotter using the CoPilot control unit or a hand held switch.  Video can be opened and viewed separately, with or without data overlay and reviewed with standard media players.

Synchronous Data & Video Viewing:  Recorded videos and GPX/KML companion files can be used with most 3rd party software tools.  These tools allow for synchronous playback of the video along with the fight path.  Synchronized timelines allows users to navigate a point on the path or using the video time line.  Additional data can be added such as notes, images, and map information which can be saved as a project to the viewed by the utility.  Software is available direct from Rugged Video.

Flight Tours

The MD 500 Flight Tour Video system is designed to create professionally edited video while in flight.  The system typically incorporated three cameras capturing the passengers, and one cameras capturing the scenery.  The multi-camera system can switch between cameras while in flight, or capture all cameras in a single picture-in-picture recording.

Video Mounting Locations

Rugged Video offers multiple installation options for video cameras and recorders on the MD500.  Camera locations include:

  • Rugged Video Interior Mounts – Cameras can be attached to an adjustable mount on the dash and in the rear cabin to capture the passengers.
  • Rugged Video Low Profile Interior Mount – A low profile mount was developed for the rear passenger compartment, allowing for the best possible view of the rear passengers.
  • Rugged Video Exterior Mount – Multiple cameras may be permanently mounted outside the aircraft.  Cameras offer full HD resolution and multiple lens options.
  • Chin Bubble Mount – Multiple cameras may be permanently mounted inside the aircraft shooting out of the chin bubble.

Flight Tour Video Process

Onboard Video equipment is designed to simply and efficiently create a professional edited video while in flight.  As soon as the skids hit the ground, operators have a well produced flight tour video, ready for sale to the customer.

Video Capturing:  Multiple HD cameras can be seamlessly switched while in flight, or recorded as a single picture-in-picture video.  Videos feature titles and credits, pre-roll intro clips, and logo overlay on the video.  Video’s are recorded in 1080p HD to a one or multiple USB flash drives.

Advanced Audio:  Systems are embedded with advanced audio mixing and MP3 technology that can play soundtracks or narrations, and output narrations through passenger headsets.  Also included is multiple language support for foreign language passengers.  Audio mixing allows passenger communications to be recorded along with the soundtracks or narrations.

Pilot Control or GPS Automation:  Recording, Camera Switching, Soundtracks & Narrations, and Overlays are controlled by the pilot, and/or automatically using GPS automation.  This allows the pilot to focus on giving the best possible tour, while the system creates a consistently great video for passengers.

Distribution: Once on the ground Rugged Video systems have three methods of effectively distributing video to passengers:  Direct Sale, USB Copy, or Digital Delivery

  • Direct Sale – Operators have up to four USB copies to sell directly to customer when the skids hit the ground.  This makes for a quick and easy sale requiring little infrastructure.
  • USB Copy – Operators can choose to create USB copies for customers with our Ultra-Fast Replicator software.  This reduces the cost of the USB sold to customers and allow for more customization and branding on USB’s.
  • Digital Delivery – Rugged Video software allows operators to delivery videos to customers digitally.  In just a few clicks operators can sell a four digit access code to customers where they can access their videos through a custom webpage made specifically for that tour.   Since videos are online, marketing potential from sharing and online views doubles the revenue potential of adding video to your operation.

Airborne Law Enforcement

The MD 500 Airborne Law Enforcement Video Systems are designed to capture HD and FLIR video from multi-sensor gimbals.  Recorders capture video, audio, and GPS data and record direct to one or multiple USB flash drives.  Systems are compatible with FLIR, L-3 Wescam, SWE Systems, CloudCap, and others.