frequently asked question
How do the drone light shows work? Are they each piloted individually?
Yes, for a 500 drone show we require 500 pilots performing intricate arial acrobatics to ensure they do not crash into each
other………..just joking. The reality is pretty boring where all the work is done before the show starts on the computer
designing the show where we can make sure they don’t crash into each other before we even do our test flight. On the day we
press play and watch the magic happen. Boring I know but could you imagine having 500 people on standby for every show!!!!!
Especially during covid times we would never get to do a show.
Where can I hold a drone show?
Great question!!! This is the single biggest question we get asked. Locations of drone shows, like with anything else drone related,
are largely dictated by CASA (the Civil Aviation Safety Authority). Drone light shows fall under the swarming category and as
such require an exclusion zone to be prepared and enforced when flying.
How big an exclusion zone, I hear you ask? The exclusion zone is worked out on a 1:1 ratio, which means if the highest drone is
100m off the ground, the exclusion zone will extend out to 100m in every direction from the closest drone to people (this also
includes people in cars and in boats even though they are undercover).
Figure 1 demonstrates an exclusion zone based on a drone show that is 100m high and the size of the swarm occupies and area
The blue box is the area the drone light show will take place and is 100m wide by 50m deep and 100m high.
The red lines extending out from the box are 100m and signify the exclusion zone distance.
The yellow circle is the exclusion zone for the show and is 100m from each side of the show space, which is 100m itself. The diameter of the total exclusion zone is therefore 300m based on this shows measurements. All boat, pedestrian and car traffic
will need to be stopped for the duration of this show.
The other consideration is that the drones need a flat unobstructed area to launch and land from. This needs to be within close
proximity to where the show will occur. The area needed will depend on how many drones are used in the show and is worked out using a 1:1.5 ratio. For example, if the show is for 500 drones the area needed to launch from needs to be at least 750 meters squared in size. This launching area also requires a 30m exclusion zone around it clear from non-operational personal. You can see the exclusion zone and launching area visualised in Figure 1.2 below.
This zoomed in photo now shows the launching area as the green rectangle. The red lines out from this area connected by the purple circle is the 30m exclusion zone around the area that needs to be free from anyone who is not operational crew.
As a result of these restrictions, we often find the best place to hold a drone show is over a body of water and launching from a nearby park or suitable hardstand area. Urban areas are difficult but not impossible given the right precautions but always be ready to have a traffic management plan and to restrict pedestrian access from 5 minutes before the drones launch, the entire length of the show and for 2 minutes after the drones safely land.
How far away can I view shows?
This depends on how big the show is and how high. Again, the height will depend on the location and CASA regulations but
generally most shows will be between 30m from the ground and 150m high. If there are no high-rise buildings in the way or
other obstructions, drone light shows can be viewed best from between 200m all the way up to 800m away. From 800 to 1,000m
is described as viewable but not appreciable where you could see it but you will not get the full impact.
How can I hear the audio if I am not in the main viewing area?
Shows almost always have a soundtrack that accompany the lights and being able to hear the story is almost as important as seeing it so being close to the speakers is always a good option. For viewers not able to be near the main event area, log onto
our website when shows are on to click through to the Youtube live stream audio of the show that is happening right now!!!!!!
Visit www.droneskyshows.com.au and click on the “Listen Live” button if you are currently at a show. The “Listen Live” function of our website is only active when we have a show on.
How long do shows go for?
Drone light shows go for between 10 and 12 minutes. This depends on how far the launching is away from the show area and
how many drones are involved in the show.
Can I get a drone show for my birthday, wedding, engagement or celebration?
Yes, you can!!! We have smaller packages between 50 to 100 drones for an 8-minute show with pre-prepared choreography
- “Happy Birthday”
- “Will You Marry Me”
The rest of the show will be geometric shapes due to the limited number of drones, but it will still be a good show. The key to these private events is the location again. Suburban areas will be very hard to host a show as traffic management and other site
costs add up quickly and are additional costs. Think wide open spaces like wineries, parks, golf courses etc. We will work with the venue as long as you , the client, secures permission from them.
CAUTION!!! If you are around an unexpected drone show with your partner, we hold no responsibility for inferences made by them if they view a “Will You Marry Me” image. On the other hand, if you happen to jag a “Happy Birthday” and it is their birthday, then you are welcome and “Thank You” can be sent via email to email@example.com.
The big question, how much does it cost?
This depends on such a huge range of factors so we quote every single show individually. Please go to www.droneskyshows.com.
au and click on the “request a quote” and complete the form to have a Drone Sky Show representative reach out. We will ask a
bunch of questions and will be able to give you a quote based on location, number of drones and show design.
Yeah, ok, but give me a ballpark cost?
The best answer we can give to this is that the smallest package of a 50 drone, 8-minute pre-programmed show with no changes
in an easy to launch and perform location close to major CBD cities in Australia will cost $15,000.00 + GST.
As technology and laws around drones change the cost will come down but unfortunately this is the starting rate. Watch this
space though as we will be actively looking to reduce this in the coming 18 months.