It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Superman… no, it’s RC planes.
Three custom-built radio-controlled model airplanes were recently flown around in New York City. It’s a promotion for the movie Chronicle that opens this Friday.
If you are thinking of repeating the stunt yourself, make a mental note: these folks got permission from the city first. They built a total of five model airplanes out of carbon fiber and other composites. Experienced AMA members were at the controls. In other words, these were professionals that knew what they were doing.
From the close-ups of the models, it looks like they gave a lot of thought into making them realistic looking. Like most “special shape” RC models, efficiency and ease of flying were probably not at the top of the list of requirements. Reportedly the batteries only lasted for five minutes on these “manly” airplanes. That tells me that they were very draggy designs. They also don’t look very stable in the roll axis, though a gyro could help with that.
In one of the close-up shots, they show a pilot with an FM transmitter controlling one of the models with the antenna collapsed. Pretty funny. Another shot shows a spread spectrum transmitter with the antenna pointing to the side, which is far better than the typical configuration: pointing straight at the model.
The video was produced by a firm that specializes in creating viral marketing campaigns. So yes, I was suckered into spreading their commercial video. The RC models are so neat, though, that I don’t mind.