I want to install a big PTZ camera at the exterior of the plane like A380 which can give the pilot a clear view while landing or taxing.

I have gone through a similar question but it doesn't give any specific answer though. Can I attach a camera to the outside of my aircraft in the USA?

My question is: if its going to be a permanent part of the aircraft and not a GoPro type, can it be included by the Manufacturer themselves?

I am not sure if this kind of exterior object is going to affect the aerodynamics of the plane. I got confused when an aerospace engineer told me it can affect the plane and can create some issues whilst in the air. I would like to get clarification on this matter.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just an aside: "I am not sure if this kind of exterior object is going to affect the aerodynamics of the plane" - if you change the shape of the aircraft (in any way) you will affect the aerodynamics... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Story
    Dec 23, 2015 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ yeah i agree, but I am not sure if the impact will be very minimal or more in case we put something like a dome camera outside of the aircraft.. $\endgroup$
    – NitinG
    Dec 24, 2015 at 4:22

1 Answer 1


Aircraft out there already use external cameras for use during taxiing/landing. Airbus uses a system called external and taxiing aid camera system (Etacs) in A380 and A350, which uses three cameras:

  • One camera in nosewheel well gives a view towards the aircraft’s nose gear.

  • A second camera mounted on the vertical tail gives a high overview of the aircraft from the tail.

  • Another camera is situated on the belly of the aircraft for giving views of runway below.

Note that both of these are FAA certified and under operation.

Whether or the camera affects the aircraft performance depends on the aircraft and the camera used (and installation location), though in most cases it shouldn't. In that case, you may have to get a supplementary type certificate


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