HFS Launches Titan Drone

The heavy-lift drone is optimized for large-format digital and 35mm cameras and capable of payloads up to 66 pounds.

Helicopter Film Services has launched the Titan, a drone paired with an Arri SRH-3 stabilized head to facilitate filming with Arri Alexa 65 and large-format digital cameras.

Company CEO and aerial cinematographer Jeremy Braben notes, “Developing this large drone was our response to requests from a couple of legendary cinematographers and visual-effects supervisors to fly large-format digital or 35mm film packages. Until now, there were no drones capable of flying or approved to fly at weights that made this possible safely.”

Alan Perrin, chief UAV pilot at HFS, adds, “We have tested other heavy-lift machines, but all of them have been marginal in terms of performance when carrying the larger cameras and lenses that we're asked to fly.  

Able to combine industry-leading triple redundancy on flight control and double redundancy on power supply and ballistic recovery, the Titan gives us the confidence to push the envelope,” Perrin continues. “The real challenge has been engineering this performance and capacity into a size of aircraft that still allows us to deploy and operate easily on any production involving a substantial flight duration.”

HFS reports it has seen more frequent requests to fly 35mm on a drone. This can be achieved with the Titan when it is carrying an Arri 435 and 400' magazine. “Another area we are keenly exploring is the ability to fly a new 65mm film camera on the Titan,” says Braben. 

The Titan is optimized for large-format digital and 35mm cameras and capable of payloads up to 66 pounds (30kg) and a maximum takeoff mass of 176 pounds (80kg). It offers redundant flight controls, a ballistic recovery system (parachute) and HD video downlink and is capable of flights lasting up to 15 minutes (subject to payload weight and configuration). It’s compatible with Arri SRH-3 and MōVI XL gimbals.

HFS is currently planning the Titan’s first use on major productions. 

American Cinematographer profiled HFS in 2017. 

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