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
4 Seasons, 66 Episodes
August 11, 2013
Cast: Jim Conrad
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Aerial America Full Episode Guide

  • An aerial guide to North Carolina, including the Outer Banks and inland forests.

  • An aerial guide to South Carolina, including beaches, the Blue Ridge Mountains and Charleston's Rainbow Row.

  • Aerial America: The Wild West takes you across the western frontier, from the St. Louis Arch to the Pacific coast to the Alaskan wilderness. Watch as we show off its many visual wonders and celebrate the men, women, and children who made their way across our country and into the pages of history.

  • The affluent history of American independence rings out from almost every corner of New England, from the Massachusetts harbors where early rebellions stimulated a revolution to the rocky peaks where freedom flies today. From the air, there's no stop to the wonders of this northeastern area.

  • Presidents and pilots. Athletes and authors. Engineers and entertainers. America has viewed over two-hundred years of trailblazers, pioneering persons who have changed our culture, our landscapes, and our lives. Take a coast-to-coast tour over the locations where these leaders formed history. From Mount Vernon to Silicon Valley, from Lambeau Field to Walden Pond and landmarks in between, we honor the places and the people who blazed a trail and led our nation in a new direction.

  • A flyover guide of the South highlights its famous landmarks, historical milestones and culture.

  • A flyover guide of America's man-made marvels, such as the Statue of Liberty and Seattle's Space Needle.

  • 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.

  • An aerial journey of America's waterways, wetlands, dams and canals.

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