How a radio control aficionado-photographer made his Nokia Lumia 1020 fly

Martin Hämmerli’s custom-modified Henseleit helicopter, outfitted with a Nokia Lumia 1020

Most of us go to crazy lengths to protect our smartphones from the slightest scratch, writes Michael Stroh on the Windows Phone Blog. “Then there’s Martin Hämmerli, who one day last fall drove several hours to a rocky Swiss ravine, strapped his Nokia Lumia 1020 to the body of a radio-controlled model helicopter, and sent the fragile-looking craft soaring 36 stories into the crisp November air.”

Stroh tells the tale of Hämmerli, a 44-year-old corporate IT manager in Switzerland, who entered a contest by Nokia and National Geographic challenging amateur photographers to “put the Nokia Lumia 1020 to the test and discover things they never thought possible with a smartphone.”

The obvious solution to Hämmerli was to make it fly, Stroh writes, and flying was something he was familiar with, having been “obsessed with sticking cameras inside RC aircraft since he was a teenager.”

For that first attempt, he “strapped a film camera to an RC airplane and attempted to take an aerial portrait of his hometown.” It was an effort that did not end well, with the craft and camera being totaled after crashing into a rooftop. “But the pictures were good,” he told Stroh.

For the Nokia-National Geographic contest, Stroh writes, Hämmerli wanted to shoot the Landwasser Viaduct, “a century-old train crossing that curves majestically 450-feet above the Landwasser River … A few hours by car from his house, it was the perfect spot to test both his Lumia 1020 and piloting skills.”

Find out how it all turned out – Hint: there is an amazing photograph to see – by reading Stroh’s story on the Windows Phone Blog.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff