Feb 14, 2017

1,000-drone performance dazzles skies (video)

A Chinese city orchestrated a dazzling 1,000-drone performance to mark the end of the Lunar New Year.

Traditionally, Chinese people celebrate the end of the new year, which takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month (in 2017, that’s Feb. 11 on the Gregorian calendar), with a lantern festival. But the southern city Guangzhou opted this year for high-tech flying machines to light up the sky. The performance set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of drones that were airborne simultaneously, according to the drone manufacture Ehang (link in Chinese), shattering the previous record held by Intel when it launched 500 drones in the sky in November.

The drones took off from the square by Guangzhou Tower and were operated by a remote-control computer system. Flying as high as 120 meters, the drones looked like lanterns hanging in the sky.

With Yellow River Piano Concerto, which premiered during Mao Zedong’s era, playing in the background, the glittering drones configured themselves in multiple formations during the 15-minute show to display the Chinese character “福,” which means blessings; the map of China; and the numbers 1,000 (representative of the number of drones) and 2017.