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Plane-towed rasterising array for 'inkjet'-style skywriting/murals
Ever seen those message banners in tow behind small planes? Even less common is skywriting (I haven't seen an example of the latter yet). How about the ultimate inkjet printer, making full-colour messages and even murals in the sky?
An aerodynamic apparatus consisting of lightweight computer, ink/pigment
hopper, and expandable inkjet array would be towed into a clear sky by small plane, in the same fashion as a glider. At the flick of a switch in the towplane, the array would unfold and expand outward into a 20-30 metre wide boom, with inkjet nozzles every metre or so along the boom. A small compressor in the main unit would drive varying amounts of CMYK 'ink' (coloured vapour) into each nozzle at predetermined bursts, according to the aircraft's speed.
The boom would have winglets at each tip to provide aerodynamic stability while the message is created - which would be a banner approximately 30 'pixels' high.
After the message is complete, the boom would retract, and the towplane would fly to a non-urban area and jettison the apparatus - which would deploy a parachute. The apparatus would then be retrieved by a ground support crew.
Skytyping - dot matrix skywriting
Same idea but bigger and monochrome. [Basepair, Apr 24 2005]
|There is or was a skywriting company
(at least one) that uses dot-matrix
methods. They fly a number of planes
in parallel and software releases the
puffs of smoke at the appropriate
times. It's a bit unwieldy, as it needs
several (?can't remember how many, but
at least 5?) planes. On the other hand, I
don't think a 20-30metre wide swathe
would be worthwhile - you need
I'll see if I can
find a link.
|See link. I suspect that it's not so easy
to produce coloured smoke on the
necessary scale - the white smoke
seems to be made by burning oil (?
injected into the
The letters these
guys write are several hundred metres
tall. I suspect that anything smaller
would disperse too quickly (and
perhaps be obliterated by the aircraft's
|Cool, thanks for the link, [Basepair]. Shame about having to use 5 planes but the scale of their stuff is impressive.
|[Basepair], they have a comparison chart of cost vs reached audience showing this to be the most effective advertising medium for the money.
I wonder how much to fly over the Potomac & skytype "God want's Social Security left Alone!".
I already voted for this, but the picture in link just re-confirmed my opinion.
|//comparison chart showing this to
bethe most effective advertising
medium for the money//
would guess that all advertisers have a
chart showing theirs to be the most
effective medium; this is in the nature
of advertising. But still I liked it :-)
|From another skywriting idea on HB: "The oil sky writers use is Texaco Canopus 13 (which used to be called Corvus oil and is used to help release concrete from wooden forms) it is supposedly non-toxic."