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Helicopter Projected Video: Giant Flying Screen

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Branding by Air and MTV

We don’t usually write about events in US, but sometimes there is something so ambitious, so spectacular that we make an exception. This is one of those stories. You really will want to watch the video link we've listed at the bottom…

To promote the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards, a pair of helicopters cruised over nighttime New York City. One copter towed a 250-foot-wide banner through the air, and a second flew alongside projecting 4K onto the flying fabric as it flapped along.

Branding by Air, an “aerial marketing” says this stunt was the first of its kind-- and Guinness World Record agrees: it is listing it for the largest-ever aerial projection screen.

Branding by Air director of technology Ryan Osbourne told press his company has been testing the stunt for two years.

Branding by Air in NYC

Osbourne and team tested using wind-tunnels in Australia, and with scale models to study aerodynamics, When you are dragging a massive banner through the air, things such as retaining a 16:9 aspect ratio in the wind take some engineering.

Branding By Air used three 4K projectors, stacked on top of one another in a Huey flying about 200-250 feet away from the screen. With all the AV equipment onboard, Osbourne says you need a military aircraft to lift it and fly steadily. So don’t try this on your helicopters at home.

The image from each projector overlapped on the screen, improving some aspects of image quality.

“You don’t so much gain lumens when you do that, you gain color saturation,” Osbourne told WIRED magazine. “The setup has significantly more power than a movie-theater projector, although it doesn’t necessarily look as bright—it’s projecting onto a screen from much further away. “At peak performance, it’s 60,000 lumens.”

Watch Branding by Air Flying for MTV Video Music Awards