You can almost see the jittery intern holding the strings, but these aren't tiny models. In reality, this is real footage from Heathrow airport sped up to 17x normal. What you're actually seeing here is the way wind currents subtly jostle planes around in the sky. Speeding up the video exaggerates the effect.
Also: Consider this an open thread for everybody trapped in airports (or airport hotels) by Hurricane Sandy. I, myself, am hanging out at Raleigh-Durham today, trying to get back to Minneapolis on standby. Got any good people-watching stories? Figured out a hack that allows you to sleep comfortably in airport seats? Have any good recommendations on ways to have fun in various east coast airports? Share it here!