When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn NY, we used to go to Coney Island every weekend in the summertime. A big thrill when I was very young was to see the planes towing advertising banners in the sky. My bigger thrill was a couple of years later, when I could read the banners for Coppertone, Pepsi etc. all by myself ;-). We used to see skytypers (5 or 6 planes at 10,000 feet, putting out timed puffs of smoke to form a message that looked like they’re from a dot matrix printer) at Coney Island too, but not as often.
Meanwhile, down here in Florida, we see a considerable amount of skywriting, not so much for product advertising but usually of a religious nature (they use all that aviation fuel, just to tell me that Jesus loves me?).
Some planes use technology to provide a different kind of artwork in the sky. Using flight tracking programs, pilots can take specific paths to “draw” designs in the sky. You can’t see the “drawings” in the sky, of course, but can if you look at flight tracker sites such as flightradar24 and FlightAware. These are some of the more interesting ones I’ve found:
— FlightAware (@flightaware) July 1, 2020
My flying friend went up this weekend and made art with the flight tracking system. pic.twitter.com/gysNOpj9xe
— MyLittLeBLOGgie (@MyLittLeBLOGgie) December 21, 2015
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) December 4, 2016
🚁🇪🇪 Estonia is celebrating its centenary this week and the pilot of this R44 decided to begin the festivities with a bit of sky art. #Estonia100
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) February 22, 2018
Qantas said goodbye to its 747 today in style beginning with a low altitude tour of Sydney, a quick visit to retired fleet mate VH-OJA, and then a massive Qantas ‘Roo’ before heading across the Pacific. https://t.co/sDyfwbqKt3 pic.twitter.com/tDZIXChGh2
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 23, 2020
Anyone looking for cheap ⛽?https://t.co/s9ArNMIrzP
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) June 15, 2020
Meanwhile in Germany a pilot decided to draw the Trollface https://t.co/zQm23z2EkI
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) May 27, 2020
Turkish Airlines has created the world’s largest national flag in the sky, to celebrate April 23rd, Turkey's National Sovereignty and Children's Day.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) April 23, 2020
✈️🐰 Which Easter bunny do you prefer?
Side view: https://t.co/X7zby492xc
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) April 12, 2020
⛑👍 Yesterday, one pilot took to the skies above Hungary to express appreciation for healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 28, 2020
— FlightAware (@flightaware) June 7, 2020
George Floyd protests: Canadian pilot draws sky art tribute in support
— 🐾Angie K 💙🔬🧫 (@angie_keathly) June 7, 2020
Meanwhile, CloudAhoy, which is a post-flight debriefing tool for pilots, student pilots, and flight instructors, had a contest in 2017 to see whose air art could gather the most votes. Here’s what these creative pilots did: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3
And finally, if you have an interest in seeing how they plan these things, I found a “How To” video that’s an interesting watch:
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary