A new Norfolk start-up business is hoping the sky is the limit for a venture aimed at capturing HD video and still photography from the air.

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HexCam, set up by Elliott Corke, sends small, radio-controlled aircraft up into the skies with cameras attached to carry out filming work.

The 35-year-old, who has ploughed nearly £10,000 into the venture after coming up with the idea last year, believed the aircraft could provide a useful service for construction and energy companies looking to monitor the progress of installation projects.

However, since gaining his Civil Aviation Authority licence to fly from the skies earlier this year, the business, which is based in Taverham, near Norwich, has also secured work to carry out archaeological work at Caister St Edmund, a 3-D modelling project of Castle Rising, near King’s Lynn, and help filming a music video for Norwich band Of Diamonds, which is being released this week.

Mr Corke, a marine biologist and former teacher, said there have also been expressions of interests to use the aircraft to film weddings and golf courses.

“The idea came out of a conversation with a friend who showed me some footage,” he said. “I thought I’d really like to do something like that, it was right up my street in terms of technology and I could see the applications of it.

“I then did two months of research of the market to see if anybody else was operating in Norfolk or East Anglia, but the closest were in the Home Counties and Nottingham.

“I have had excellent support from Broadland Distict Council. I did their Basics for Business course and I also did some filming of the new eco-centre at Rackheath. I think it’s got great potential. We can do both video and photography and as long as we can get permission from the landowner, we can operate almost anywhere. We are more versatile than a helicopter – we can go from right beside someone up to 400ft.

Meanwhile the firm is also receiving help from composite engineers from Loddon-based Mussett Engineering, who are looking at ways to help make the innovative radio-controlled multirotor aerial camera system lighter and stronger.

The two firms were brought together after a recent networking event at which Mr Corke was able to explain the concept to other businesses.

Graham Muff , composites manager at Mussett Engineering, said: “These sort of projects are really interesting for us as they pose new engineering challenges. This isn’t a product which we’ve worked with before but as composites engineers, we know that carbon fibre can be used to make products lighter and stronger, so it has useful applications for all sorts of businesses.’

“The majority of our work comes from the automotive and motorsport sectors, so working closely with a local start-up business is a great opportunity for us to test our skills on something new and something really different.”

To see the HexCam in action at www.edp24.co.uk/business

shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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