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Inside WRC Safari Rally chopper mounted with a Sh30M camera gimbal [Video]

Check out the Sh30M camera gimbal & other features that help the official WRC Safari Rally chopper cover race cars

The official WRC Safari Rally chopper

Kenyans have been enjoying the thrills of the WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha where thousands thronged to catch a glimpse of the racing action.

Hovering above the rally cars was Tropical Air’s chopper which was designated as the official filming helicopter.

The aviation company gave a glimpse of how the chopper is modified to capture the thrilling moments of the rally from breathtaking heights.


The Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil has long been regarded as the go-to helicopter for a variety of missions, including excursions, aerial filming, geological survey, search and rescue operations, casualty and evacuation services, as well as conservation support.

With its outstanding performance and adaptability, it was perfectly suited for the demanding terrain of the Safari Rally.

The chopper can do speeds of 115 knots (212.98kph) to keep up with the race cars.

To enhance its capabilities for the World Rally Championship, the helicopter was equipped with state-of-the-art features and technology.


A standout addition is the installation of the remarkable M1 Shotover camera, which boasts a six-axis gyro-stabilized system.

This cutting-edge camera offers unparalleled zoom capabilities and is operated by a highly skilled camera operator.

Similar to the advanced camera systems used by prominent media houses in the United States, the M1 Shotover camera comes with a hefty price tag of over Sh30 million.

Its presence on the transformed AS350B3 Ecureuil ensures that every high-speed turn and thrilling moment of the rally will be captured with utmost precision and clarity.


Situated behind the pilot, the camera operator expertly manoeuvres the control unit to direct the camera's focus and capture the most captivating shots.

This seamless collaboration between the pilot and the camera operator guarantees that no moment of the action did not go unnoticed as Kenyans praised the air team.

In addition to the cutting-edge camera system, the helicopter is equipped with a transmission and communications unit.


This vital component broadcasts the exhilarating live feed to millions of rally enthusiasts and the meticulous risk control department, ensuring that the excitement and drama of the Safari Rally are experienced in real time by viewers around the world.

Furthermore, the transformed AS350B3 Ecureuil houses a dedicated power source that caters to the various electronic devices utilized during the aerial filming process.

This ensures uninterrupted operation and allows the entire team on board to focus solely on capturing the riveting rally moments from above.

Notably, the main pilot has their own set of screens at the front of the cockpit, providing them with a clear view of the action below.


This setup enables the pilot to navigate the helicopter with precision, ensuring that the best angles and perspectives are captured to deliver unparalleled footage of the race cars in action.


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