Flying Drone Billboards Are The Future We Deserve

Flying Drone Billboards Are the Future We Deserve

When listing all the ways humanity is going to ruin the future, one that doesn’t often come up is the sun being blocked out by a horde of drone advertising blimps. But that hasn’t stopped one Swiss firm from working hard to make it a reality.

Skye Aero is a project to build 3m helium-filled balloons, with small propellers attached to give better control than your average blimp. The benefits are a much bigger aircraft — useful when you want to advertise to people — and one that won’t crash the second it loses power, or bumps into anyone.

It’s not a totally new design — British band Muse have been using a fleet of similar drones on their most recent tour — but Swiss firm Aerotain’s design stands out due to its soul-sucking practicality. The company thinks Aerotain will be a perfect, audience-engaging advertising platform, which is probably true, but a little too consumerist to get excited about.

Moving away from its role as a replacement for the Goodyear Blimp, lighter-than-air drones are an interesting and underutilised concept. Provided they’re not filled with hydrogen, they offer increased safety for flying over crowds, and a much greater payload than traditional quadcopters. Hopefully, someone will find a better application for them than giant floating billboards.

[Aerotain via IEEE Spectrum]

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