Helicopters provide a fantastic platform for aerial photography.

With the ability to hover at all heights with either the window or door removed, helicopters provide the photographer with a platform for detailed aerial photographs.  Low-level aerial photography can offer architectural, abstract or landscape images to the professional.

The Twin Squirrel is an ideal platform for helicopter aerial photography.  The sliding doors mean you can travel at cruise speed (115kts) to your location, slow down, open the door and get the shot you need.  The twin-engine ability also allows us off-shore, over other built-up areas and at heights that single-engine helicopters cannot achieve.


Based at Stapleford Aerodrome, just inside the M25 at the M11 junction, we are in a unique position to offer photographers access for aerial photographs of London.  With just a 5-minute sector time to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and only a few minutes more to the City of London, we regularly fly for developers, marketing companies and architects alike.

As we fly so regularly in the London area we have all the necessary permits required to operate down to 750 feet; including the restricted zones around the City, West End and Canary Wharf.

We have worked on a variety of commissions, from small unique shots (advertising companies, estate agents) to long-term contracts (Westfield Shopping Centres, London 2012 Olympics).

Getting the best image is a matter of teamwork between the photographer and pilot; we have over 10 years experience with some of the most demanding aerial photographers.  For helicopter photography in Essex, the South East and even nationwide, please call the Operations team to discuss rates.

During the Summer months we work with Heli-Wise providing helicopters for their school aerial photographs.



The helicopters ability as an actor, an aerial camera platform or a mode of transport have been increasingly recognised by the film, television and photographic industries.

Helicopters for filming basically fall into two categories: those being filmed (picture ship) and those doing the filming (camera ship).  We can supply virtually any type for the picture ship, which can often be re-painted to the customer's design.  The choices of camera ships are restricted due to the availability of different camera mounts.

Twin Squirrels are the aerial filming helicopters most used because of their adaptability:

On high-skids you can fit most aerial camera systems on a nose or side mount.

Three-bladed helicopters give a more stable aerial platform for the camera and cameraman.

With some of the rear seats removed, the cabin is very spacious for either a Tyler middle mount and recording equipment.

Twin-engine performance allows us to film over congested areas, over water, and also closer to the ground than an equivalent single-engine helicopter.


The large payload of our helicopters enables the helicopter with camera fitted, pilot, cameraman and producer to remain airborne for two to three hours, depending on camera, allowing off-shore shoots, long sequences and plenty of re-takes for the producer.

Our helicopters routinely spend time out of the country on aerial filming in Ireland and mainland Europe.  Excel Charter have a great depth of experience in all types of aerial filming, including live broadcast, news gathering, sporting events, film productions, television series and commercials.