AirCam: A $50,000 Homebuilt Airplane Kit for Serious Aerial Photographers


When it comes to aerial photography, things are getting more and more complicated. Setting up a drone business in the US is getting to be a major headache in some states, and other options (e.g. paragliding) might just get you arrested if you fly over the wrong thing or take off from the wrong place.

AirCam is a solution, albeit an expensive one, that frees serious aerial photographers to do their thing — and do it in style.


AirCam is a kit plane (that is, you build it at home) that is designed specifically with aerial photography and “low and slow exploration” in mind.

Sure, you need to have a pilot’s license and $50,000+ to spend (plus an average of 1,100 hours of build time), but if all of that sounds doable, the AirCam is a great way for aerial photography buffs to explore hard-to-reach places — National Geographic has even used one on a few assignments.

Here’s a video intro to the AirCam:

As you can see, the AirCam is wide open and built to be as stable and easy to fly as possible. Short field take-offs and landings, low-and-slow flying abilities, and the AirCam’s ability to operate (even take off) with only one of the two engines running, are all aerial photography selling points.

Of course, not a lot of people can just spend that kind of money, but when you compare the price of an AirCam to that of a typical small plane, it’s downright cheap.


To learn more about AirCam and possibly look into getting one yourself, head over to the AirCam website to stock up on information from the company, or learn more about the planes from the people who actually fly them on the AirCam forums.

(via Fstoppers)

  • ohHenry


    You could just buy an already built Experimental/Homebuilt plane for…

    Well, lets Google it and see shall we?

    A 2013 Thatcher CX4 in Florida for $15, 000… or
    A Challenger II in Pennsylvania for $17, 000… or
    Another Challenger II in Alabama for only $14, 000

    Or Ooooo…
    A 1984 Thorp T18 for $35, 000

    Or for $5 grand more than your plane heck here’s a 2009 Vans RV9 for $55, 000 that I bet could be had for around $40 or so…

    Cute plane your showing but, seriously, if serious, I’d be looking at a better buy.

  • Richard

    Fantastic. Thanks for the post.

  • kurt

    An Air Cam on floats costs about $150,000 built. The $50,000 doesn’t include the engines…

  • kurt

    You can get other planes that are way cheaper but don’t forget this was built to be flown in the Amazon low and slow with reliability. Go see how much you can find a multi-engine seaplane with the visibility of one of these.

  • Urban Toreador.

    The cheapest you’re going to get into an Aircam is about $110k. Those Rotax 912s are pricey. Once you’ve spent that you could easily justify another $15k in avionics.

  • Burnin Biomass

    I think some used Cessna 172’s go for about this range too.

  • Scott

    I’m pretty sure you also need to spend a ton of money on licences and permits if you plan on selling any of the resulting photos or video.

  • Photoboy373

    So the video showed all these awesome places that you can go to and fly at, but how do you get your plane to Hawaii for a vacation, and then back over to California for some great shots of the coast, and then over to central america to see the ancient ruins? Is it really worth owning for the purpose of aerial photography if you cant really take it everywhere that would make it worth it to use? (unless of course you can in which everyone should disregard this post).

    If what I said above didn’t really matter, then this is a super awesome plane, and looks really fun to fly regardless of where you’re at.

  • Dhaval Panchal

    Screw it, i’m gonna live on beans on toast till i can afford one of these!