What is included with every Cloud 9 mount?
Each Cloud 9 mount comes packaged in a Micro Fiber bag that can be used to store the mount when not in use. This is a convenient way to store the mount in your flight bag to avoid damage to it or any other items in the flight bag. The micro fiber bag can also be used to clean the lens of the camera. Also included is an additional set of rubber contact feet in a softer compound, a Vibration Isolator, a piece of cord and velcro wrap strap that can be used as a safety lanyard and an Allen wrench with an extra #6-32 set screw that is used when replacing or swapping straps and a set of instructions pertaining to the use and care of the mount.
Is the Cloud 9 mount legal to use on certified aircraft? What does the FAA think?
In 2007, I designed the cloud 9 mount to be legal as per the current FAR for what constituted an airframe modification at the time. With the help of my local FSDO, EAA and AOPA representatives I designed the mount to fall within a “grey area” of sorts at the time. So long as m mount was quick on and off without tools, did not interact with any airframe components by means of attaching to existing bolts, removing bolts and sandwiching my mount between or interact with any existing items such as Tie down rings and such I was in a sense legal. Knowing that with with the increasing use of action cameras in aviation it was only a matter of time before the “Grey Area” was closed, I decided to pursue an STC. Just as I was about to get the ball rolling on the STC the FAA made a definitive decision on action cameras mounted externally. The FAA found that they did not pose a threat to affecting the aerodynamics of an aircraft. Also the FAA has decided to make the responsibility and likely liability on the user to ensure that the camera is mounted in a way that is safe. Sadly this new FAA mandate now legalizes the external use of Suction cups which is a very bad idea. The problem with suction cups as as the aircraft climbs, the differential of pressure in the cup is reduced and weakened and eventually it will weaken enough that the impact pressure of the air will cause it to separate from the aircraft and the PIC is now responsible. Since 2007 the Cloud 9 mount has never so much a budged or loosen in flight let alone fall off and I feel its design is the safest mount to date. The cloud 9 mount has been tested to 160 knots with the limit being I have not had a chance to find a strutted aircraft capable of going faster then that in cruise to test higher.
If anyone would like to read up more on the FAA mandate the link is below:
Why does the Cloud 9 mount use Velcro Straps?
When I designed the prototype is 2007, I tried all manner of straps. Rubber Dive straps, Ratcheting buckles from cycling shoes, metal automotive clamps and custom made Velcro straps. I fully expected the Rubber dive strap or the Ratcheting buckle to be the best and was surprised that in the end Velcro outperformed them all. Now I am not using your average run of the mill hardware store Velcro either. The Velcro I use is sourced as made in the USA industrial strength low stretch velcro. The industrial strength Velcro has the highest shear strength of any type of Velcro. In fact you have a better chance of tearing the strap before it will let loose in shear. I also offer free replacement straps for life or as long as I am in business. Since 2007 I have only had to replace 2 and both were due to the strap tearing due to accidental damage.
What is your return Policy?
I offer a full refund for up to 30 days. I want you to be happy with your purchase and if for any reason your unhappy the mount can be returned within 30 days of purchase. If after 30 days I will likely still take it back after we speak. Why the Guarantee? Some aircraft just vibrate more than others and in rare circumstances the vibration may be excessive enough that you may be unhappy. This is not a common thing and since 2007, I have had 3 or 4 aircraft that took some time to sort out. One was Georg’s Bearhawk and if you watch the video “UTAH 2015 the quest for not yet visited airstrips” you will see that in the end we sorted it out and his video is one of the most stable I have seen. He thinks it was a prop imbalance issue. So suffice it to say you have no risk in buying the Cloud 9 mount.
Can I use my Cloud 9 mount on other aircraft?
Every configuration of the Cloud 9 mount has the ability to fit other aircraft. After you search for your primary mount base don the aircraft you fly, it will take you to the product page for that configuration. You will then see all the various aircraft this configuration fits. This list is by no means complete and I am constantly updating it as I find new aircraft for each configuration.
Another option is the mount can be reconfigured on the fly by swapping out rear clamps or adding different straps. I offer 2 different size front clamps and a multitude of rear clamps and Bund straps. If you happen to fly more than one aircraft and the others are not listed on your configuration, do a search based on each additional aircraft you fly. Look at the configuration layout of which front clamp it uses; Ie small or large. If it turns out that the other aircraft all use the same size front clamp then I can put together a custom configuration for you that will give you the ability to reconfigure the mount as needed for each aircraft you fly. If you have any questions please click on the “contact me” tab and send me an email with all the aircraft you fly and I will get back to you with more info.
I don't own a plane and I rent, how quick is it to attach the Cloud 9 Mount?
When I designed the Cloud 9 mount, I wanted to make sure it worked well yet also was quick enough to attach and remove without tools so that it would be perfect for renters. I do not own plane yet either and Rent a 172N and I can attach the mount and set the shot in less than a minute; removal is even quicker.
My plane has bad chipping paint will the Cloud 9 mount still work for me?
Yes this is something I made sure to design for. Since my mount contacts the strut at opposing tangent points on both the front and rear clamp, it essentially encapsulates the strut when attached. Due to its mounting scheme paint condition does not matter at all.
Conversely, for those that use the standard Gopro or other brand sticky mount bad paint is a huge issue as both vibration and wind impact pressure can be enough to cause the sticky mount to pop off and take a chunk of paint with it.
Why do I need a tripod adapter with my Gopro or Garmin Virb to use the Cloud 9 mount?
So this is a question I get a lot. I come from the Film/Photography industry and standard mounting practice for the film/Photography industry is either a 1/4-20 or 3/8-16 threaded insert. This is why all small camera tripod mounts have a 1/4-20 interface. For some reason Gopro and Garmin decided not to follow this standard. The Drift, Sony and the newer contour cameras did and they have an integral 1/4-20 threaded insert in their body and an adapter is not required.
Another reason I decided to stray from the Gopro / Garmin standard is most of the off the shelf mounts only rotate in one axis and all aircraft lift struts are at an angle so its nearly impossible to get the shot angled how you need with the off the shelf GoPro or Garmin stock mounts. The ball mount also allows you to set the shot in an infinite of positions; forward, rearward, straight down, at the pilot, toward the wingtip and all things in between. Also by choosing to use a high quality professional ball mount it replaces all the plastic flimsy arms with a solid metal structure thus cutting down on camera vibration.
The ball mount has a cork washer that when the camera is installed it pre-loads the threads and adds enough friction that it will not vibrate loose from aircraft vibration or impact pressure form the wind. It actually takes a fair amount of torque to remove the camera once installed.
Can I use my Cloud 9 mount on vehicles other than aircraft?
When I designed the mount in 2007, its initial use was for my Hanglider and was designed to mount on a 3″ diameter tube. I actually designed the large front clamp to mount to any tubular structure from 1.13″ to 3″. Depending on what version you have, to do so the mount may need to be reconfigured to a tubular mounting configuration. If you would like this additional functionality, I can sell you a specialized strap that will allow you to reconfigure the mount as needed between tubular to aircraft configuration. The change takes about a minute or so and I include the Allen wrench needed to make the change.
Pretty much any tubular structure between 1.13″ and 3″ will work. I have used it on the following
- Hanglider tubing
- Motorcycle front fork (Dirt and Road) See video below
- ATV roll bar and front bumper
- Automobile / race car roll bar
- Off road truck light bar and front bumper
- Mountain bike head tube and goose neck
- Windsurf mast
- sailboat mast and railing
- Ultralight tubing
- Hot air balloon basket frame
I fly a Bononza, Mooney, Grumman or other plane without struts do you have a mount for me?
At the moment no, but I do have a prototype in testing that will allow you to mount a camera to an inspection plate. Since many aircraft inspection plates are aircraft specific, I will supply an inspection plate mounting kit with a template to modify an existing inspection plate on your aircraft. Or if you prefer you modify a replacement inspection plate. Inspection plates must be the type that are screwed on and not spring clipped. I have the prototype in testing on a Grumman Cheetah. If your interested in being notified when it is available please use the contact me tab and send me an email.