A flying Nokia N95

Boat at the beach

Today has to be a nice day for an article about something that you can’t possibly do with an iPhone. Simply because it totally lacks one feature. Namely, high quality video recording.

I take absolutely no responsibility for the damage you might cause as a result of trying to do something similar to what we have done in this article.

I just spent a week on the western coast of Denmark. To be precise, in Klitmøller. A very nice place. Known for wind and great surfing in addition to nice family friendly summer homes and a fresh west coast nature.

I’ve been pretty offline and spent the days with my family relaxing. But there’s always time for some important experiments. My experiments usually include images or gadgets. This time I had an idea about some spectacular aerial video shooting. The combination of my brother-in-law, Dr. Jacob Torgersen with a PhD in genetics and an extended interest for windsurfing, a Nokia 6630 test unit, a Nokia N95 main unit, a kite, some wind, my degree in media engineering and a big roll of duct tape should be enough to manage some interesting tests.

Aerial photo from a kite

The Nokia N95 has excellent video recording capabilities, so in addition to all of the other stuff it can do it is a very light weight video camera. Of course it is a bit risky to send a $500,- phone up in a $30,- kite but we have a lot of duct tape. And everything can be solved with a lot of duct tape.


First, we measured the balance of the kite and found the best place to mount the phone to avoid instabilities during flight. Then we mounted my old Nokia 6630 as a test unit and sent it up.

Kitecam Nokia 6630

Everything flying smooth until the first serious vibrations sent my 6630 down into the gravel from about 20 m. The first result of our tests is a fact: a nokia 6630 survives a 20 meter drop with minor scratches. Amazing. And our first conclusion: not enough duct tape.

Nokia 6630 Crashed

We’re not very patient when it comes to experiments like this and Dr. Torgersen seems very confident in his kiting skills. Time to mount the Nokia N95 and get some better quality video.

More duct tape this time.

Kitecam Nokia N95

The kite goes into the air. Dr. Torgersen puts his years of experience with windsurfing and probably a bit of genetic science behind the navigation and we end up with a pretty cool video.


He even manages to land the thing quite smooth and I am still a happy user of my undamaged Nokia N95.

Yes. It flies. And you can download the original MP4-file as it looked directly from the Nokia N95 here.

And when you watch the video on your Nokia N95 maybe you would want to connect a big screen. Bigger than the iPhone.

A flying Nokia N95

49 thoughts on “A flying Nokia N95

  1. Been wondering where have you been so long :)

    Really a great experiment. Next time go in mountains or something to capture more interesting scenario :)
    Maybe you should make a pocket made for nokia on kite, so it would be completely protected because at strong winds u can hear the duct tape being unduct :)

  2. Sean says:

    Does the N95 have a lanyard lug? I have a Samsung SCH-u740 which has a lanyard attachment point which I’ll definitely use as a backup to the duct tape if I try this. If the duct tape fails, the phone will hopefully just dangle instead of falling.

  3. um…it’s kinda cooler than the other guy did. He put N95 on a model airplane and did air survey. I might try my very own N95 too.

  4. Pearse says:

    Google KAP or Kite Aerial Photography. It’s been around a long time but nice to see mobile video being added!

    KAP portal at http://www.bults.net/kapnet/index.php

    KAPwiki at http://www.vogelblik.nl/index.php?title=Main_Page

    And the first guy I saw doing this stuff way back in the day :) http://www.vogelblik.nl/index.php?title=Main_Page

    There’s some very advanced rigs out there but you’re right about the duct tape. Keeping the great candle wax and thread approach going strong.

    Get your videos into the Flickr pool Eirik http://www.flickr.com/groups/kiteaerialphotography/pool/


  5. Fantastic. Truly fantastic. I knew I wasn’t the first one doing this but the fact that Kite Aerial Photography is such a big thing was new for me. Thanks.

  6. Peter says:

    Really cool, but I would never have the nerve to do that with my N95

    Could be fun to try it with the camera’s timelapse function to get some nice 5mpix aerial shots.

  7. Jeff: can I buy your software somewhere? Didn’t find a link on your page.

    Wicherd: Now that’s very cool. The 20D can stand some beating, but I wouldn’t send a $1000,- camera into a kite anytime soon. Still, a very nice image!

  8. Man I feel disy! But here you have done something thats mixes three ideas at once!

    I have earlier seen some videos on “will it blend?” and due to the large wind it feels like you have duct-taped a blender with your N95 inside and installed it on your kite!!

    – Can’t stop my sight from spinning after watching that video!

    Denmark is without a doubt a nice place to be in the summer! Just been there for a week, but the weather was not that good! Very nice coast nature as you mention! Saw kite for sale everywhere!

    Have a nice summer!

  9. Peter: Yes, I could have started the sequence mode and let the camera take a 5 mpix still every 10th second. Could have been very nice as well. But I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen on sending the phone back up when it survived the video recording…

  10. eirikso says:

    Exactly. If you read the story you’ll see that I did a test fligt with my old Nokia 6630 before I sent up my N95.

  11. nokia n95 says:

    I don’t think i’d risk putting my HTC windows-powered device up there in a kite, nevermind my n95! But I do have to say, the video looked pretty sweet, I could only imagine doing this over water (omg what if the camera fell out??) or over a canyon.

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