Superhero-shaped UAVs buzz Manhattan


42 Responses to “Superhero-shaped UAVs buzz Manhattan”

  1. NickPheas says:

    It’s the rapture!

  2. mtdna says:

    Totally amazing. It’s a shame they’ll probably be banned as a terrorist threat.

  3. Only thing missing was a silk cape!

  4. huskerdont says:

    I dunno, they look a bit more like Deatheaters than superheros to me.

  5. Suburbancowboy says:

    They should’ve made them look like Zod, Ursa and Non.

  6. xzzy says:

    The illusion is surprisingly effective once they’re at distance.. they really did a great job with the build.

    I wonder if anyone on the bridge noticed them, and spent the rest of the day confused as to what exactly had been witnessed.

  7. Angry Chief says:

    Why is nobody pointing out that this is just another one of those lame adverts for that Chronicles movie?   

    • Max Meyer says:

      Advert, sure. Lame movie, also maybe. Thought it was pretty compelling, though. What I’m wondering, though, is “did that actually happen, or do we have another WipEout quantum levitation vid on our hands?’

    • Jim Saul says:

      Perhaps because the video itself ends with the logo, so there’s no need to point it out?

      Does that make it any less cool? The technical skill involved in making that form factor airworthy, and in successfully controlling them is tremendous. I hope it inspires others to do the same stunt.

      Hell, I hope it becomes a trend so ubiquitous that the slightest mention of it makes message boards drip with hipster disdain, because long after it is a novelty and a surprise, I will still be delighted to live in a world where some people so completely threw off the suffocating gloom of the last decade that the sky itself is fucking filled with soaring figures.

      • Mujokan says:

        And they all have banners behind them saying “Eat at Joes”.

      • Angry Chief says:

        I’m just saying that this would be a whole lot cooler if there wasn’t an advert.
        When watching at first, I admit that I was slightly mesmerized. To see the human form soaring unattached made me smile.

        But then, like a cavity warning on Halloween, I was brought back to earth a bit too quickly.

        Nice music video.

        • Jim Saul says:

          You’re right, of course. I was hoping it was a group of twelve-year-olds doing it just for the joy of it.

          At least it wasn’t the cast of Jersey Shore.

    • Snig says:

      I didn’t know it was a movie until you pointed it out.  I often enjoy television, movies and the radio, even if it’s 95% content and 5% ads. 

  8. hexmonkey says:

    1. What makes them superhero-shaped? They look like ordinary humanoids to me.

    2. What makes them UAVs? They look like humanoid-shaped R/C planes…

    • Jim Saul says:

      R/C planes are UAVs. (well, unless your supervillian has remotely taken control of a manned vehicle a la Lone Gunmen)

      Humanoids apparently flying by magical powers are super.

      People who fly humanoid R/C around to the delighted surprise of everyone who see them are simply awesome.

      • hexmonkey says:

        The term UAV is generally used to imply some sort of added capability besides flying. Surveillance, photography, that sort of thing.

        And I disagree that there was any magical power apparent. I would expect “apparent magical powers” would involve Tinkerbell-style sparkle trails or a visible witch’s broom. None of which were part of their *shape*, which was my original point.

        And yes, this was pretty awesome regardless of the above.

        • acidrain69 says:

          The only thing UAV implies is that it is unmanned and aerial. It doesn’t require photography or anything else. 

          • hexmonkey says:

            Except that nobody refers to a $25 AirHogs helicopter as a UAV. Usage matters.

          • PrettyBoyTim says:

            There’s lots of things that don’t quite fit a literal parsing of their names, and I think it’s useful to be able to distinguish between UAVs and RC planes.

            The first UAVs were the size of full-size aeroplanes; ‘Unmanned’ was all that was needed to distinguish them from aeroplanes, and nobody would have thought of comparing them with toy planes as I doubt anyone would have thought the control systems would ever get that small.

            Obviously now the worlds of UAVs and RC planes have gotten a lot closer, and although you could make up some new words to better describe the spectrum (Semi Autonomous Aerial Vehicle? Long-Distance Remotely Controlled Aerial Vehicle? Short-Range First-Person-View Controlled Aerial Vehicle?), it might just further confuse things.

      • PrettyBoyTim says:

        I think ‘UAV’ usually implies a certain level of autonomy – either the ability to fly by itself between receiving instruction from its operator, or the ability to be controlled despite being out of sight of the operator. These look to be neither.

        Unrelated: the first time I wrote this Disqus decided to throw away my post when I logged in. I wish it wouldn’t offer you the textbox to write in before you’re logged in because it rarely remembers what you’ve written once you’ve gone through the logging in process.

    • obeyken says:

      1. The flying part

  9. WaylonWillie says:


    I await news of their indefinite detention without trial or accusation.

  10. THIS is my favourite flying humanoid video…skip to the 0:40 second mark.

  11. gellfex says:

    As usual, my town of Jersey City, where half the vid was shot, gets no love,  not even a mention.  All of the launching, skyline and Statue of Liberty shots were here in Liberty State Park, not in NYC.

    You can bet that as soon as those things appeared near the Brooklyn bridge a tactical team was scrambled, there’s a 24/7 police presence at either end of that bridge, there’s been too many threats to it.

  12. Snig says:

    It makes me wonder if comics where the superheroes are flying arms forward (superman style) will look dated, if it turns out that’s not an aerodynamically feasible way to fly. 

    • Jake0748 says:

      I was wondering about the arm positions too.  Having their arms back like that made them look more like skydivers than superheroes to me. 

  13. Brad H. says:

    Hey old man with iPad, I dare you to use digital zoom, dare you!

  14. Mari Lwyd says:

    Kits available here:
    mentioned in @markf edited “Make: Ultimate Kit Guide”

  15. tyger11 says:

    They should use these in Afghanistan – that would totally terrify the Taliban.

  16. LinkMan says:

    It seems these are mostly staying on the Brooklyn and Jersey sides of the rivers and not really “buzzing Manhattan” per se.   I will now return you to your regularly scheduled pedantry.

  17. penguinchris says:

    I thought it was really cool, but I didn’t like the vaguely-dubstep soundtrack and their attempt at making the operators look epic with the camera work at the beginning. There was some really neat stuff in the video but it suffers from the problem of not knowing what to edit out, or how to present the narrative well.

    I think this is because it’s a viral ad for the Chronicle film. It’s a weird mix of high production values and amateur stuff.

    Doesn’t take away from the act of flying superheroes around itself, of course. Would be awesome to actually see them flying through Manhattan, like the RC plane video featured on BB a while back.

  18. Jaan says:

    Only in Boston…NYC seems to be much cooler about these sort of things.

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