Whirlyrig is a leading, and licensed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle specialist in the North East of England, providing clients with a wide range of aerial solutions. Although based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and Northumberland, we work all over the UK and abroad, with commissions throughout Europe, and even as far as Kenya.

We have worked in myriad terrains and conditions, and excel in extreme environments, and one-of-a-kind projects.

As well as being experienced drone pilots, photographers, and cinematographers, our team is dynamic, creative, and motivated to providing great quality, and outstanding value. Whirlyrig can tailor products and services to suit your needs, as well as offering no-obligation advice on the best, and most affordable aerial solution for you.


Alexandra Johnston

Alexandra Johnston

Lead Pilot / Drone Operator

Alex is our cofounder, and lead drone pilot.

With an aviation background flying manned, fixed-winged aircraft in the UK and Kenya, she brings a wealth of practical experience to the team. She has been active in the field of aviation for 18 years, and has been flying drones since 2013.

As well as planes and drones, Alex is a qualified PADI diver, and loves horses so much, that sometimes she wishes cars didn’t exist… (but then she remembers how much she loves her V-dub camper).

“It’s not enough to put a camera in the air, and fly it around; if you want perfect shots, you need a cameraman. Ross definitely does all the hard-work!” – Alex Johnston

Ross Collins

Ross Collins

Lead Photographer / Videographer

Ross discovered a passion for photography at 9 years old, when he won first and second place in a local photography competition. Since then he has been brushing up his skills, and winning prizes in both photography and cinematography, and after 24 years of training, finally made it his full-time occupation in 2015. His electronics qualifications and background does still come in handy though; he understands our Whirlyrig’s like nobody else – our resident drone-whisperer!

When Ross isn’t behind a camera, or editing photographs and footage, he can be found hiking through the hills, usually somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, searching for the perfect shot.

“I’ve got land, water, and air ticked-off the list, so, Mr. Branson, if you’re looking for a space cinematographer give me a call!”– Ross Collins


Our pilots are CPL-sU qualified, and undergo regular training, and assessments, so we always deliver the same, high-quality service and product to our clients. We carry public and professional liability insurance, and adhere to both strict CAA, and self-regulated procedures and policies, which ensure the highest safety standards.



Whilryrig can do the job of a helicopter, jib, dolly, and elevated platform, saving time, money and resources.

We can save tens of thousands of pounds compared to hiring a helicopter.



Whirlyrig can operate so efficiently and flexibly, that we capture more footage in a day than any of the more traditional methods, such as dollys. expensive helicopters, jibs, or elevated platforms.

We can have our system set-up and ready to shoot within minutes.


Whirlyrig mitigates requirement for people to be placed in potentially dangerous situations, such as at height, or in hazardous spaces.

Risk assessments, analysis of location airspace and pre-site and on-site surveys are completed before every operation.

GPS technology and in-built fail-safes in every UAV.


We offer multiple shoot packages to suit you, as well as incorporating standard ground footage where required.

We have highly portable UAV options, meaning that nowhere is too far, remote, or inaccessible for us to fly.

With fully programmable flights we can repeat the exact path of a shot at a later date.

“We offer more versatility than traditional filming methods. We can operate in tight indoor spaces, or outdoors from a couple of feet to 400ft above ground level, as well as replacing jib, crane, and cable cameras.”



Zero carbon emissions, and environmentally friendly compared to most traditional methods.



Our pilots are trained and experienced. We carry worldwide public liability insurance of £5 million, professional indemnity, and more. Most importantly we are licensed and approved by the Civil Aviation Authority, a legal requirement for any commercial UAV activities.

Interested In Working With Us?


Whirlyrig provide professional aerial filming, photography, and inspection services, using ‘drones’. Fully insured, licensed, and certified by the CAA. Based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe, and Worldwide.





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