Our Services

The Aerial Film Company offers an all-encompassing range of aircraft services to the film and television industry. Our aerial filming services form the heart of our operations, benefitting from our large fleet of aircraft and highly versatile line-up of gyro-stabilised aerial camera systems.

Hammerhead VFX Array

Hammerhead VFX Array

The Hammerhead Array is our 3 camera large format array which makes aerial VFX capture more accessible than any other system in it’s class. At the heart are three Red Digital Cinema V-Raptor 8K FF cameras and a matched set of Carl Zeiss CP.3 XD 21mm lenses. The Hammerhead is provided as a pre-configured payload to allow for quick interchangeability with a single camera. This allows productions to efficiently use the Shotover K1 across multiple units.

DSMC-3 Cameras

Central to the system are three RED Digital Cinema V-Raptor 8K FF cameras arranged in a vertical configuration. With a resolution of 8192 x 4320 and 17+ stops of dynamic range per camera, a total Field of View up to 150 degrees* can be achieved in an almost standard DCI aspect ratio.

Final Output

With a final resolution of up to 100 megapixels*, the Hammerhead array captures an astonishing level of detail at frame rates up to 120fps. Lens data can be captured through Carl Zeiss eXtended data technology, whilst the Shotover provides GPS data through a data logger and a real time monitor overlay which is captured on the instant dailies.

Quick Payload Swaps

The swap between a single camera and the Hammerhead array can be done on location in under 2 hours. This allows efficient use of the Shotover K1 across main, second and VFX units.

Consistent redeployment

Once configured to VFX requirements, the Hammerhead can be consistently redeployed to ensure accurate and repeatable VFX plate capture throughout production

Fully controlled package

Our 100% in-house Hammerhead array allows us to offer flexible pricing and eliminates repetetive setup and rigging costs encountered with other systems. Our investment in a matched set of cameras and lenses means that you will never find yourself at the mercy of other suppliers availability and prices.

3 versus 6 cameras

By utilising an extremely high resolution 3 camera array instead of a more traditional 6 camera one, hire costs of cameras and lenses are slashed in half. The use of 8K Full Frame bodies allows us to deliver the same high resolution output you would get from a more traditional 6 camera setup.

Red V Raptor

Red V-Raptor 8K FF

Cenral to the Hammerhead Array are three RED Digital Cinema V-Raptor 8K FF cameras arranged in a vertical configuration. With a resolution of 8192 x 4320 and 17+ stops of dynamic range per camera, a total Field of View up to 150 degrees can be achieved in an almost standard DCI aspect ratio. With a final resolution of up to 100 megapixels, the Hammerhead array captures an astonishing level of detail at frame rates up to 120fps. Additionally, V-Raptor features a multi-format 8K sensor (40.96mm x 21.60mm) with the ability to shoot 8K large format or 6K Super 35 giving us flexibility to use the camera in our Shotover K1 and F1 systems with a large variety of lenses, whilst always maintaining a minimum resolution of 4K and above.


Sensor: V-RAPTOR 8K VV 35.4 Megapixel CMOS

Effective Pixels: 8192 (h) x 4320 (v)

Sensor Size: 40.96 mm x 21.60 mm (Diagonal: 46.31 mm)

Dynamic Range: 17+ stops

Max Frame Rate: 120 fps at 8K 17:9 (8192 x 4320)

Carl Zeiss CP.3 xD

No matter how high the resolution, if the lenses aren’t matched, the quality of the final stitched image will suffer. Our Hammerhead VFX array comes with a matched set of Carl Zeiss CP.3 xD 21mm lenses to ensure consistency across the image. The CP.3 lenses exhibit the clean, crisp characteristics ZEISS is known for with full-frame coverage perfectly suitable for RED V-Raptor FF. All relevant lens data can be captured through Carl Zeiss eXtended Data Technology, ensuring post production teams have all required information to obtain the best possible stitch.


Focal Length: 21mm

Aperture: T 2.9 to T 22

Horizontal Angle of View: 81 degrees

Front Diameter: 95mm

Additional Features: Zeiss eXtended Data Technology

Instant Dailies

Instant, synced Dailies from our Shotover K1 Hammerhead array streamline both the aerial capture and post production process. A custom splitter box rotates the 3 individual camera feeds and outputs them onto a single monitor, allowing directors, VFX supervisors and DOP’s to get an instant approximation of the captured array plate. A timecode synced proxy allows post-production teams to make selects of captured footage prior to stitching, saving valuable time and resources. These proxies are readily accessible in near real-time from any location worldwide during the capture process.


Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Format: ProRes 422, 422LT, 422 Proxy

Captured Data: Camera Data and GPS referenced Shotover Coordinates

Instant Transfer: Near real-time upload of proxies from anywhere in the world

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How do I book your services?

Contact Us either through email or via telephone and one of our team will get back to you right away. Our Ops team is always on hand to guide you through the process of booking any of our services needed for your production.

What cameras can you fly?

We can fly all commonly available cameras currently in use across the industry. Be it the latest digital cinema cameras, film cameras or even IMAX, our systems can accommodate payloads of all different shapes and sizes. Head over to our services page for a breakdown of common payloads we fly.

Where are you based?

Our main helicopter base is in Knutsford, Cheshire in the north of the UK. We have helicopters positioned all across the UK which allows us to match the right machine to the job. International operations are achieved by either ferrying our helicopters across by air, in our Helicopter Transporter or by using one of our trusted helicopter partners abroad.

Can you operate abroad?

We certainly can and we love it, too. We have a lot of experience operating in countries all over the world. Recent productions took us to South Africa, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Norway, the Arctic circle and the middle east.

Can you fly in bad weather?

Our aircraft are all-weather capable. However, low clouds and fog can provide issues for helicopters departing and arriving at private landing sites such as unit base or on location. Our camera systems are also all-weather capable and we can provide rain spinners for the lens. Best results however are always achieved when no precipitation is present at all.

What about permits and flying permissions?

We have decades of experience when it comes to obtaining the relevant permits and permissions for helicopter operations. We are also one of the very few helicopter operators in the country with a permanent Enhanced Low Flying Permission, bringing our minimum separation and altitude down to 200 feet from the standard 500 feet required. Beyond that, permits are secured on individual application to legally allow us to perform operations in close proximity to structures, people and vehicles. Our operations team has years of experience working with the Civil Aviation Authority to get the permits required for even the most challenging shoots.

Can you operate on location for extended periods of time?

We take care of all the logistics required for extended periods on location. Our fuel bowser keeps aircraft flying all day, whilst our fire truck and fire fighters keep operations safe. All weather covers and tie-downs mean we can keep our aircraft on location overnight, ready to start filming at sunrise the next morning.

Can you arrange last minute helicopter charters for talent/crew?

We understand the sometimes hectic and last minute nature of the film industry all too well and will do our very best to accommodate urgent requests for any of our aircraft services. An entire fleet of aircraft at The Aerial Film Company means that we can usually get you a helicopter without delay. The best thing to do is contact us right away via email or telephone.