If drones changing shape on the fly and shooting streaks of hot flames weren’t enough to make you question what will rule the skies in the future, then this might change your mind…

A few weeks ago, the 2019 Nanchang Flight Convention was held in China. From November 2-3, the convention showcased the best China had to offer in the fields of aviation, drones, and space travel. While over a hundred commercial and military planes were shown over the course of two days, what really struck audiences was the closing ceremony:

As shown in the above video by Xinhua Sci-Tech, 800 drones took to the sky as the convention ended and arranged themselves into the shapes of various flying aircrafts such as a commercial airliner, an attack helicopter, and a fighter jet. As it would look boring if these planes were merely on the ground, all of this was done in mid-air over thousands of people.

drone plane

Once the drones finished their plane formations, they flew themselves over the awestruck crowds just as a plane would (albeit a little closer to the ground to remain within controlling range). Unlike a normal plane however, these drones were able to change the colors of their lights to really give a show to onlookers.

While it’s scary to see a plane flying so close to ground level, what’s really frightening is just how fluid and coordinated these drones are. Sure, they look harmless now, but what if someone with a more militaristic mindset got their hands on these drones?

Paranoia aside, it’s great to see how far drone technology has come in a few years! Let’s just hope we keep them in check and use them for things like plane light shows and cargo deliveries instead of more dangerous professions.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.