North American B-25 Mitchell

James E. Maloney/Planes Of Fame,

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Ball Mounts

So-called due to their spherically shaped wind shroud--most of those shown here without--, ball mounts offer rock steady gyro stabilization. Most of the larger systems are designed primarily for film work. Their size accommodates the film camera and 1000' magazine while allowing full pan and tilt movements.

There are also systems designed for ENG work with some even incorporating infrared cameras. However, these latter types are primarily for law enforcement or military applications.

Installation is usually carried out by the camera operator or aerial cinematographer and the camera technician. If the operator is required at a production meeting, steps should be in place to provide at least a P.A. to help with the process.

During the filming process the aerial technician can provide focus pulling duties as well to the normal camera and magazine reloading. Some flight situations may--hot and high--may require the camera technician to remain behind on the ground.

It's important in this situation that the aerial cinematographer be thoroughly trained on the system as all focus duties will be performed by that person in addition to the normal operation.

The mounts listed here are only a sampling of what is available. Some of these vendors have more than one type of system so be sure and visit their Web sites for a complete, up to date listing.

Also, be aware that the bracketry for these mounts requires a specially modified aircraft. You cannot just fit these systems to any ship. Make sure you work this out ahead of time with each mount's vendor or the aerial coordinator as they will be able to help you locate a compatible helicopter.





Serial #: 44-30423
Construction #:
Civil Registration:
Name: Photo Fanny
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 2002


Delivered to USAAF as 44-30423, 19??.
- Stored at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ, Aug. 1958-1959.
National Metals, Phoenix, AZ, July 30, 1959-1960.
- Registered as N3675G.
John Carter & John Jacobson, Rancho Cordova, CA, Mar. 1960.
John Jacobson, Sacramento, CA, 1965.
Ed Maloney/The Air Museum, Ontario, CA, 1965-1973.
James E. Maloney/Planes Of Fame, Chino, CA., Nov. 1973-2002.
- Flew as Shangrila (later Betty Grable).
- Currently flown as Photo Fanny.
- Flew in movie Forever Young.
- Flew off carrier USS Constellation for movie Pearl Harbor off California as 02261, Sept. 2000.