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|Manufacturer||Cal-Boeing of Dorwinion|
|Tech Base||Inner Sphere|
|Chassis Type (Size)||VTOL (Medium)|
|Top Speed||118.8 km/h|
|Barrier Armor Rating (BAR)||BAR 5|
|Crew||3 (3 enlisted/non-rated)|
The Sky Eye News Helicopter is a civilian VTOL introduced by Cal-Boeing of Dorwinion in 3061. More than just a simple camera helicopter, the Sky Eye includes enough equipment to essentially function as a flying news studio, though its future looked bleak from the outset due to its lackluster reception at first. However, the start of the FedCom Civil War soon after proved to be a godsend for the Sky Eye, as news organizations in the Federated Commonwealth bought it up to report on the conflict. Sky Eyes helped document much of the fighting, including the Rénard Reportage coverage of the ﬁghting on New Avalon, even as pilots had to scramble to get the best footage. Foreign sales also quickly picked up until, by 3070, the Sky Eye was being used by ComStar's Interstellar News Network and many news organizations in every Successor State.
Equipment and Capabilities
As a civilian vehicle, the Sky Eye is unarmed and carries just a half-ton of commercial-grade armor. A half-ton of fuel and four-ton internal combustion engine helps the Sky Eye get where it needs to go, where it can put its true talents to work. The sophisticated camera array the helicopter carries - able to capture audio and tri-vid images and incorporating both a High-Rez Imager Camera and Infrared Imager Camera - is gyro-stabilized with an automatic tracking system to ensure the picture remains in focus during tight maneuverings. One ton of Communications Equipment allows the captured images to be quickly transmitted to broadcasting stations, including HPG stations thanks to an agreement with INN. Built in to this advanced communications array are mixing and pre-production systems that allow years' worth of audio-visual data to be stored and edited before being transmitted in whichever format is needed. Lastly, the Sky Eye also includes a 1.2 ton cargo bay for carrying additional supplies.
The standard crew consists of a pilot, co-pilot and communications specialist, but passenger seating for four allows a full news team to work on board, typically consisting of a camera operator, sound technician/narrator and production engineer, who operate in the soundproof rear of the helicopter. Technically the entire system can be flown and operated by just one pilot, though given concerns about broadcast quality and the sheer price of the helicopter, such usage is rare except in an emergency.
- VTOL Rotor Arrangement (Coaxial)
As of this writing, there are no published Record Sheets for this vehicle.
- Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex Revised, p. 70, "Sky Eye"
- Master Unit List: Sky Eye