Fireworks replacements?
October 12, 2019 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Firefly Drone Shows are FAA Approved, Customizable, Precisely Choreographed Shows
posted by growabrain (19 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Fireworks replacements?

No way.
posted by beagle at 5:24 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

I would be so psyched, for the animals, environment, and shift workers, if my fireworks-happy city replaced their extravaganzas with this.
posted by metasarah at 5:27 AM on October 12 [12 favorites]

That's pretty cool looking. I wonder what a whole flock of drones sounds like?
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:27 AM on October 12

Friends were at the scout jamboree in the video. They didn't mention this so I'll ask them what it was like to be there watching it.
posted by dowcrag at 6:00 AM on October 12

Fireworks are exciting. That is fundamentally why people like them and why they are used for celebrations. These are neat, but also soporific. It’s like watching a really peaceful, chilled out, silent marching band. I’m not sure what the right use case for these is, but they seem like the would bring a celebratory mood down.
posted by jeoc at 6:36 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]

Sort of an aerial Busby Berkeley...
posted by jim in austin at 6:53 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

There's definitely some cool possibilities with this, yet, somehow I have the feeling that this is going to end up being the primary encounter most of us will have with these. You can't see stars in the city anyway, so why not fill the night sky with logos?

Yeah...I'm pretty cynical. Sorry.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:59 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]

I think firefly displays can be their own thing as well as a firework replacement. It would make a great light show for an arena concert, one that's not limited to the stage and can surround the audience. It's also more persistent than a firework display, so you can do cute tricks like having them draw attention to an event's entrance as people arrive.

I really want this concept to take off simply because it looks fun to do yourself. You can never really play around with fireworks if you want to still have the use of your eyebrows and/or fingers, but I'd totally have fun hacking around with a swarm of firefly drones.
posted by Eleven at 7:20 AM on October 12

I loved this! It would be so fun to play with them. You could leave little messages in the night sky for your kids or something to see from their windows.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:09 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Inspired in part by World Jamboree dowcrag mentioned above, we hired a group to do a 30-drone show at our local Camporee. Cost was $10,000 - not too bad, but ... The weather is a HUGE factor. We had perfect clear skies all day and then a small storm came in just before the evening event. A dozen of us had weather apps out watching the cell move in. The winds were just a bit too much for the drones to fly, so they scrubbed at literally the last second. Had to pay them anyway.

Colorado has had fire bans for several Summers and many fireworks shows get cancelled. Drone shows are a good substitute when fireworks are baned.
posted by jazon at 9:19 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

I really want to like these, but they seem so precise and boring.

I appreciate the engineering that's gone into that precision, in much the same way I appreciate the engineering that allows your typical glass office tower to not fall down, but I don't want to spend any time looking at them.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:32 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]

You can pry the fireworks from my cold dead hands...

Seriously, it is true that fireworks have their costs and risks. I remember back in ... hmmm, I guess I don’t really remember, maybe the middle 80’s ... in Duluth they had an “issue” at the show and all the fireworks went off at once, on the ground. Very intense display and thankfully (and also, amazingly) none of the workers were injured. The whole “show” probably took thirty seconds, though it seemed a lot longer watching it and imagining what was really happening.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 10:00 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]

To follow up, apparently the bear was rather good and it was novel at first but after a while lacked the sustained excitement of a good fireworks display. Disclosure: we live in a community that usually puts on a *great* fireworks display once a year, so we're kind of fond of them.
posted by dowcrag at 10:21 AM on October 12

Fireworks and drones could easily be combined, if only by people who don't like drones.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:35 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

Fireworks continue to be a problem environmentally: air quality and water quality can be affected, the noise upsets birds and marine mammals, and they are probably not very good for the fish in the lakes and bays where the events are held.

However nobody at any level of government wants to deal with the possibility of shutting down a fireworks show, because the public blowback would be catastrophic. So hardly anyone has done any real studies on them, and everyone is always passing the buck on the question, while they keep getting permitted.
posted by suelac at 2:24 PM on October 12

you cannot take the sky from me
posted by kokaku at 3:35 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

The sky is our enemy, and like all enemies it is best dealt with by being scribbled upon.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:18 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

There are other people doing drone light shows! I rather wish I had seen this one at burning man last year
posted by flaterik at 10:58 PM on October 12

If you can hang a light in the sky, pretty soon you will be able to hang a grid of precisely controlled red, blue, and green lights in the sky and have tv. I love occasional fireworks; then fireworks got legalized in Maine by slick lobbyists, and now there are lots of random fireworks and they have ruined the magic. An admittedly small part of why I moved was so I could see the stars and the night sky. Ideally, someone will train birds of prey to catch drones, and we won't have sky billboards.

Maine legislated against billboards; when I travel, I am reminded of what a pox they are.
posted by theora55 at 7:24 AM on October 14

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