Watch Aerial America

Aerial America is a 50-part documentary series described as the biggest high-definition aerial cinematography project underway in the world. Narrated over a vocal and instrumental musical track, each hour-long segment offers scenes of a particular state's landmarks, historical sites, natural wonders and contemporary life. Viewers enjoy both urban and rural landscapes interspersed with footage of remote areas otherwise inaccessible from the ground.

What makes Aerial America unique is the use of a state-of-the-art HD camera mounted on a helicopter's nose to a Cineflex HiDEF stabilized high-definition camera system that allows for expanded rotation and steady shooting even in difficult weather conditions. In addition, Camera Operator Thomas C. Miller takes great care to prevent the helicopter's shadow from intruding on the viewer's visual experience. Vertical motion like waterfalls is juxtaposed with the horizontal motion of moving vehicles including boats, cars and particularly trains to give an overall sense of America on the move.

According to Director Toby Beach, researchers establish a state's historical timeline and select an average of 50 locations to be filmed. The team also solicits suggestions from viewers about where and what to film in a particular state. Aerial America does not use interviews or archival images; for the human stories, they look for sports venues, current industrial production sites, historical landmarks and recreational activity locations.

While it's impossible to show everything in an hour, episodes of Aerial America strive to highlight each state's unique and important elements. By the end of 2012, segments for two-thirds of the country had been completed or were in production, with the remaining states scheduled for future filming.

Aerial America is produced by Tusker Television LLC, with Toby Beach as Director and Executive Producer. Each segment runs 47 minutes to fit into a one-hour time slot. The TV-G rated show is distributed by Smithsonian Networks.

Smithsonian Channel
3 Seasons, 58 Episodes - Currently Airing
Watch Episodes

Aerial America Full Episode Guide

  • An aerial tour of unique roadside attractions.

  • An aerial journey over the Great Plains.

  • Huge forces have altered our nation over billions of years, molding it into the beautiful landscape we know today. Surrounding us, natural wonders are plentiful, from South Dakota's badlands to Yellowstone's boiling cauldrons to West Virginia's amazing spine of quartzite. See them all from an amazing aerial view on a cross-country journey.

  • Journey beyond the tourist hot-spots of beautiful Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and discover the area's turbulent but rich past and fascinating characters, from golf and basketball legends to kings of Latin pop and more.

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