Drone News Roundup: Porsche Creates Drone Light Paintings in the African Desert, Drone Video of World’s First Sky Pool, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
11 June 2021

This week we’re covering a series of photos created by Porsche that use drones as a light source to promote the company’s new car, the Panamera.

We’re also covering a drone video showing the first sky pool in the world, a hilarious video featuring Jeremy Clarkson trying—and failing—to herd sheep with a drone in a show called The Grand Tour, the FAA’s recent podcast episode on drone entrepreneurship, and Kittyhawk’s rebranding as Aloft.

Now let’s get to those links!

Porsche Creates Drone Light Paintings in the Desert

Reflections of Passion - Baber Afzal

The first artist we ever saw use drones as a light source in his photography was Reuben Wu, who used the effect to create surreal halos around mountains in the desert back in 2018. Since then other drone pilots and photographers have adopted the approach in several interesting new ways. But this new project with Porsche, called Reflections of Passion, is one of the most stunning we’ve seen yet. Created by photographer and artist Baber Afzal and shot in deserts found in both “the Middle East and Africa”—according to the luxury car company—these shots show us yet another way that drones can be used to create art. Watch the video above to learn about Afzal’s process, and make sure to follow the link below to see the different images he created using drones as a light source in this beautiful series of photos.


Drone Footage Shows World’s First Sky Pool

If you’re wondering what it might be like to swim in the world’s first-ever sky pool, the drone video shown above can give you a pretty good idea (minus the adrenaline rush, of course). The pool is located between two buildings and sits ten stories in the air—or 115 feet, to be exact—at a swanky apartment complex in London. The pool was manufactured in Colorado, it’s made out of transparent polymer, it’s almost 10 feet deep, and it weighs about 55 tons. But the heaviest part of it is the water—that comes in at a whopping 375 tons. Sure hope that polymer is strong!


Herding Sheep by Drone in Hilarious Clip on The Grand Tour

Shepherding by drone is easy! For the first few minutes, anyway. Watch this hilarious video featuring Jeremy Clarkson on The Grand Tour to see what happens when someone who knows nothing about drones or sheep uses a drone to herd sheep. Spoiler alert: the sheep win. (Want to see how drones are actually being used to herd cattle? Check out this article on BeeFree Agro’s precision ranching drone technology.)


FAA Highlights Ways to Make Money as a Commercial Drone Pilot in Latest Podcast Episode


Want to be a drone entrepreneur? The FAA wants to help. It’s most recent Air Up There podcast episode highlights the different ways drones can be used for business purposes, including photography, agriculture surveying, and building inspections, to name just a few. In addition to highlighting ways that commercial drone pilots are currently making money, the episode also highlights the Global Air Drone Academy’s work to educate young people about the “entrepreneurial benefits of drone piloting.” If you’re curious about drone entrepreneurship for yourself or for a student you know, the episode is well worth a listen.


Kittyhawk Rebrands as Aloft

Image credit: Aloft

Drone software startup Kittyhawk has announced a rebrand—the company will now be called Aloft. The startup is generally known for its airspace management software, which is used in the FAA’s B4UFLY app. When it first launched in 2015, it was creating software that helped drone pilots log their flights, and then expanded into being a general platform for drone flight operations management. Since then, the company has shifted its focus toward creating software that supports the implementation of UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management). It seems like the company’s name change was made to underscore this shift in focus, not just to UTM but to the universe of considerations that come along with UTM, including security, regulatory compliance, and AI, according to a statement from the company.


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