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A New Twist On Skywriting

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the air-apparent dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 149

Nugget writes "The advent of Internet-based flight tracking technology enables an entirely new kind of skywriting. Gulfstream Aerospace sent up one of their $50M business jets today on an 8.5-hour test flight spanning 11 states for the sole purpose of leaving their mark on the Net in the form of a flight track that spells out 'GV' (the nickname of the Gulfstream V aircraft being flown) when viewed online."

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Someone (4, Funny)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918770)

Someone give these guys something to do, STAT! :D

Re:Someone (5, Funny)

AxminsterLeuven (963108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918818)

How about "Aliens Attack Here -->" across a hemisphere you don't like?

Re:Someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918870)

Smell my gulf stream slave!

Re:Someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918888)

Totally dude.

Are they studying the effects of high winds on the fuselage? No.

At a time in the world when need is the greatest, they venture to
pull this crap.

It's makes me sad the system is owned by such tyrants.

Re:Someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919460)

I thought the same thing. We've hit a point where the ultra-rich individuals and businesses are so out of touch with the average person that we have this useless form of skywriting and there's an oil mogul building islands to preserve his wealth before the oil runs out. Meanwhile there are people around the world deserving of attention and financial assistance that they will never get. It's yet another point that proves that humans suck ass and should all be exterminated.

Re:Someone (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919788)

And here you are, posting to Slashdot rather than actually doing something.

Perhaps you have taken it upon yourself to alert others to this important cause?

Re:Someone (1)

LukeyJunk (620483) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920664)

Or at least tell them they could just use Paint and save themselves some time and effort...

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918782)

hola. this is the best post ever.

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918808)

until now...

This post is one better!

What a disgusting waste of fuel (5, Insightful)

jimmoores (87214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918786)

At a time when global warming is ruining our climate, this is obscene.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918862)

You seem to forget that the private jets of $500,000+ salaried business executives use special Toorichtogiveashit patented non-global warming fuel unlike the economy class "Two or three times a year" passenger planes we prolls fly on.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919304)

Reminds me of some environmental activist who was doing a book tour to promote her book covering commercial jet pollution. She traveled entirely by personal business jet to avoid flying a big, more economical-per-seat-mile passenger jet :P

Wish I could google a link, maybe someone else will have better luck.

her book? or his movie? (2, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919446)

here is a quote from the net.. Can you figure out without hitting the link who it's referring to?For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:HB_qxPVZ4AsJ: underthenews.blogspot.com/2006_08_01_archive.html+ snopes+ecology+irony+author+private+jet&hl=en&ct=c lnk&cd=1&gl=us [209.85.165.104]

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (4, Funny)

Vr6dub (813447) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919770)

What's worse than that is I actually did a google search on this magic fuel you mentioned and then it dawned on me.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1, Insightful)

keesh (202812) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919208)

Yes, because this makes a huge difference. It's good to see you complaining about things that matter, rather than attacking small irrelevant wastage.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (3, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919628)

"small irrelevant wastage."
Like you? I mean literally. You are unlikely to make a difference right? Who ever you are. So why bother right? One More SUV is hardly going to kill the planet. Not switching you crap off before going to bed - Buying your power from a company useing or investing heavily in renewables... None of it is going to make a noticable change right?
Fuck whit.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17921510)

I think switching off just one thing in this world will make somewhat of a difference...

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (2, Informative)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919238)

"On a New York-to-Denver flight, a commercial jet would generate 840 to 1,660 pounds of carbon dioxide per passenger. That's about what an SUV generates in a month." -- http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2006-12-18- jet-pollution-usat_x.htm [usatoday.com]

NYC to Denver: 1629 miles -- http://www.angelfire.com/md2/timewarp/cursortrail. html [angelfire.com]

"4508 09322 GEP DPR RECAP MLS LWT BZN DBS FFU HVE RSK ALS PUB DVV RLG DVV PUB TBE LAA SNY RAP LBF ANY OVR HARPI" -- well I don't know how many miles that is. Cheers,

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920448)

"4508 09322 GEP DPR RECAP MLS LWT BZN DBS FFU HVE RSK ALS PUB DVV RLG DVV PUB TBE LAA SNY RAP LBF ANY OVR HARPI" -- well I don't know how many miles that is.

That route is 3871.5 nautical miles according to DUATS.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (3, Insightful)

bshroyer (21524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920462)

It's not as bad as you make it out to be - if you imagine the average SUV-driving commuter has a 20-mile one-way commute, 20 days per month, that's 800 miles. On a "pounds CO2 per passenger per mile"** basis, commercial jet travel is quite efficient. In other words, that same SUV would produce twice as much CO2 if it were driven from NYC to Denver.

In today's age, a better question is whether it's really necessary to go to Denver. There's still a lot of unneeded business travel going on, when voice- or video-conference would work just as well.

(** quite possibly the worst, non-SI unit of measure I've ever used)

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922614)

You seem to have missed the point that the jet had no passengers (other than the pilots) and that it wasn't doing anything useful in the air. It's like I drove the same route they did and didn't stop to see the sites or do anything at all and then when home. Both scenarios are a wicked waste of fuel.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

got2liv4him (966133) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919600)

At a time when global warming is ruining our climate, this is obscene.
INSIGHTFUL??!!?? I'm surrounded by nincompoops. I agree it's a waste of money... but global warming??! and you people think that was a contribution!

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919806)

Yep - about 75K lbs of CO2 for that stunt - or the equivilent of driving 3 SUVs for a full year

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (5, Insightful)

deadweight (681827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920102)

Can we assume that you never do anything like drive your car to the movies. If you do, you are spewing C02 when you could just wait for a Netflix DVD to come to your door. Everyone who NEVER uses any kind of fossil-fuel provided energy to do ANYTHING not absolutely life-or-death, please go track down the Gulfstream owner and do your CO2 rant. The rest of you shut the fuck up.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920418)

Furthermore, there's no telling how much money this never-been-done-before advertising was worth. It may have cost us xxyy in CO2, however an alternative, spending $2 000 000 for 30 seconds of superbowl commercial space [an arbitrary guess], may have cost us 4xxyy in CO2 between the time and gas spent creating the commercial, and all the energy wasted running everybody's televisions those 30 seconds, etc.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

jimmoores (87214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920558)

The point is that the amount of CO2 that can be produced without making Global warming worse is limited. That means that we have to share that 'carbon budget' amongst everyone on the planet. In short though - we don't.

I live in Britain, and we're not the best, but we're about twice as efficient per capita as the US and we're one of the few countries on course to meet it's Kyoto targets.

And I do personally try to make a difference. I've fitted low energy light bulbs to about 3/4 of the lights, I've got roof insulation and double glazing, I don't own a car (my girlfriend does, but it's only got a 1.0 litre engine). I shower rather than have baths (mostly) and I don't leave the tap on and I recycle most of my household rubbish (which reduces methane emissions from landfill). I'm not some kind of eco-nut either.

I realize that most people aren't going to even do these minimal things, but don't try and tell me I can't suggest that other people don't go and produce vast amounts of CO2 without any good need just because my lifestyle produces _any_ carbon dioxide. Heck, breathing produces CO2, even dying produces CO2. The point is to minimize unnecessary production.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

deadweight (681827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920986)

There are good ways and bad ways to reduce C02. The best way, IMHO, is a tax on carbon containing fuels. I bet if gas was $5/gallon in the USA the average efficiency of our cars would go way up. The worst way, IMHO, is for some bunch of green-Nazis to form a committee and decide what is an acceptable use of fuel and what is not. I guess being a pilot makes me sensitive to this more than most people. Obviously a few people here would love to prohibit flying a G-V just for fun. My plane holds only about 50 gallons of gas, but I bet more than a few people would tell me I was a "carbon criminal" if they saw me filling up so I could fly for an hour after work just for some relaxing fun. What about boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and riding lawn mowers? What about big plasma TVs and air conditioning? Most 1st world people use VAST amounts of energy for things not strictly needed to survive. Would water-skiing become illegal? What about Las Vegas? That place probably uses more electritiy than some whole countries and no one NEEDS to gamble.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

jimmoores (87214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921102)

I couldn't agree more: you can't just order people around about what to do. There is an element of personal responsibility, but that's up to the individual. I don't think that there's any harm in reminding people that they're using energy excessively though, although I wouldn't want it to become hostile in any way. As you suggest, I think the best way is to increasingly tax carbon-based fuel and electricity. Money is really the only way to get the large majority to change their behaviours. It also means you have a choice - if you choose to be more environmentally friendly you get a pay-off and more polluting peoples tax dollars go to pay for your public services. As a final payoff, it makes sustainable energy sources more relatively affordable (provided they have tax breaks).

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

deadweight (681827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921284)

Besides for all that, you are never going to get any decent energy use laws passed in the USA if anyone thinks they are going to be subject to some kind of "committee to decide who can buy gas for what". On the good news front, the new diesel fuel spec in the USA will finally let us use the highly efficient common-rail diesels sold in Europe :)

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922120)

Heck, breathing produces CO2, even dying produces CO2. The point is to minimize unnecessary production.

No, the problem is not CO2 production. Breathing and dying only release CO2 which was extracted from the atmosphere very recently. That kind of CO2 production is cyclic and averages out to nothing in a short (in planetary terms) period. It's CO2 production from sources which have been locked up in the Earth's crust for hundreds of millions of years and the resultant net increase in CO2 which is the problem. The only way to reverse it is to remove CO2 from the system again. That's why I think we should grow trees and bury them in clay to permanently remove carbon from the cycle.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17922400)

"I'm not some kind of eco-nut either."

No. You're worse. You're a moron.

We've always had this CO2, always will have, until someone finds a way to get it off-planet. All the science papers are now backpedalling from their earlier predictions of doom and gloom.

  "...even dying produces CO2."

Yup. Best thing to do to a greenie. Get them so sick that they choke on their own vomit.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

Alchemar (720449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921976)

Will someone from netflicks be bringing it by bike, or will they likely put it on a plane fly it to your city, place it in a mail truck, and drive it to your house? It might have been better for the enviroment to drive to the movies instead. The problem is perspective. If you drive to the movies, then you are causing the carbon emmissions. If it wasn't you driving then it was someone else causing the carbon emmissions. The fact that it would be on your behalf would be irrelevent to most people, because it is outside of the world they have direct interaction with.

Everything we do has an economic and enviromental impact. Everyone looks at direct fuel consumption, becasue that is in their direct realm of knowledge and understanding. That is the problem that most "green" energy sources have. They talk about how much carbon emmission for operation. They don't like to talk about how much fosssil fuel was used to melt and proccess the iron to manufacture it, the cost in petrolem for the people to get to work to build it, the raw petrochemicals used to make the plastic housing. It all adds up. You can not be a functional member in modern society without having a carbon footprint. Using the fact that everyone has a carbon footprint to claim that it is inapproriate to talk about doing something to reduce it, or pointing out that something was probably more wastefull than it needed to be does not elliminate the problem. Most large problems are not sovled by everyone taking care of their share first. Most large problems are solved by ellimiating the most sever case. Then the 2nd most sever case is now the most sever case, and you ellimiate it, until the remaining cases are considered too insignificant to be part of the problem.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

nasch (598556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922146)

Will someone from netflicks be bringing it by bike, or will they likely put it on a plane fly it to your city, place it in a mail truck, and drive it to your house?
Yes, all of which they would have done anyway. If you would care to calculate the incremental fuel cost of transporting a DVD (I don't) I'm sure you would find it's less than driving to the movies. Far less. Your argument is like saying don't take the bus because buses burn more fuel than cars. The bus is running anyway, so if you're on it rather than in your car, you're reducing emissions.

Don't take this to mean I agree with the other poster that we're not allowed to criticize this move unless we never go to the movies (or anywhere else we don't absolutely have to).

Finally - that plane flew over my house! Or at least very close to it.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

deadweight (681827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922758)

The issue here is the classic slippery slope. If someone gave me a G-V it would never fly without a load of paying passengers because I can't even come close to affording to fly it for fun. Just because I can't afford it doesn't mean I shouldn't care because sooner or later someone will come after something I can afford to do. Private aircraft use a trivial amount of the total fuel burned in the USA every year. If you think the G-V shouldn't be flying for fun, for advertising, or maybe not for any reason then there are a lot of things you might to put a stop to. Do 2 people need to live in a 4,000 sqare foot house? What about driving your SUV to the beach and renting a house with a heated pool? What about hot air balloons burning propane just because someone wants to float around for awhile and look at the scenery? If the whole country ran P-II 300 MHz laptops instead of 3.8 GHz machines with 19 or 21 inch monitors we would save a huge shitload of electricity! You can "go after" people who YOU think are using fuel for things you don't approve of, which would be a fascist nightmare, or just tax the damn stuff and let people make their own economic decisions. After all, look at how well CAFE standards DON'T work. You can't MAKE people buy small cars and have cheap gas. It just doesn't happen.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922316)

Everyone who NEVER uses any kind of fossil-fuel provided energy to do ANYTHING not absolutely life-or-death, please go track down the Gulfstream owner and do your CO2 rant. The rest of you shut the fuck up.

"Black and white thinking" - seeing the world only in terms of extremes - is a sign of mental illness. If you are honestly incapable of seeing that producing, say, ten tons of CO2 from fossil fuels is worse then producing one ton of CO2 from fossil fuels I suggest you go and see a psychiastrist.

However, I suspect you aren't mentally ill but are simply using the fact that nobody is perfect to justify your being as destructive as you like, because you like your SUV and long-haul holidays and the convenience of lights which achieve full brightness in 0.05s instead of 0.5s. If someone drops a sweet wrapper, they can't criticise you for dumping a truckload of toxic waste, right? If someone bumps into you in the street, they can't criticise you for taking a baseball bat to someone's head, right? Wrong. Stop dodging and whining and take some fucking responsibility for your actions.

They were probably going to fly anyway. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920714)

Maybe you missed the part of the article where they said this was a test flight. As in, they were testing the plane. The choice of route was a stunt, granted, but if they hadn't flown a great big "GV," they probably would still have done the test flight, and just flown around in a circle, or some other arbitrarily-defined pattern. It's just that flying in this particular pattern got them some extra press, so why not?

Calm down a little before you flip out, next time.

Re:What a disgusting waste of fuel (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920874)

At a time when global warming is ruining our climate, this is obscene.
Well, yes and no -- though the CO2 produced is a problem, it's been shown tha global dimming due to jet contrails has had an ameliatory effect. Note that in the days when the US air fleet was gorunded after 9/11, average ground temperature increased by three degrees -- and the consensus is that only the lack of jet contrails could have caused that temperature increase.

It's quite likely that we'll need to add extra contrails on purpose during the present century in order to hold off the worst effects of global warming until we've managed to deal with the underlying causes.

Lowprofile dogma... (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922608)

At a time when global warming is ruining our climate, X is obscene.

Where X = anything remotely connected to large amounts of fuel/energy usage

Yup, it's official. You haven't lost your religion.

So... (4, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918838)

... are we looking at a new type of spam?

Can't wait to read "Enlarge your peanus" right above some skyscraper...

I didn't notice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918840)

Until I read it online.

what to sell... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17918848)

ok lets see, with the target demographic of someone likely to be going through flight paths... you are likely to advertise internet dating sites or burkahs.

-Sj53

Hmmmmmm (1, Interesting)

appleguru (1030562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918872)

You've got to wonder why in the hell the FAA approved that flight plan...

Re:Hmmmmmm (3, Insightful)

eric76 (679787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918948)

I don't remember ever seeing any FAA regulation that you can only fly direct lines between airports.

Re:Hmmmmmm (4, Insightful)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919144)

Indeed the only regulations that interfer with your flight are the no-fly zones, the rest is up to you.

Re:Hmmmmmm (4, Insightful)

svanderw (202961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920748)

Except for all of the regulations on exactly which flight levels you're allowed to fly at, depending on your direction of flight.
Oh, and the equipment that you've got on your aircraft.
And the time of day (in some circumstances)
And the day of the week(in other circumstances)
And the fact that Air traffic control needs to know where you're planning on flying.
Europe is even more difficult to fly in based on all of the restrictions that they put against the flight paths attempting to adjust the air traffic flow.

Oh, or were you basing the comment on the tiny non-jets(piston/turboprop) that can't fly very high.
(speaking as someone who's attempting to manage this data for commercial flight planning purposes)

Re:Hmmmmmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920840)

You might wanna check those visual flight rules again.

Air traffic control doesn't need to know a thing, so long as you stay out of their controlled airspace. If you ask for radar following, the only thing needed is a transponder ident.

Any licensed pilot can fly anytime they want, wherever they want (restricted airspace the exception of course). Without ever telling *anybody* *anything*

Re:Hmmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17921130)

But not at FL400, which is where this flight took place.

Re:Hmmmmmm (3, Informative)

Sacarino (619753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921338)

You might wanna check the altitude again.

While your point in general is correct about VFR flight, this guy was cruising at FL400 - Class A airspace [fiu.edu] .

He would definitely had to have an IFR plan on file, otherwise he'd get a message from the tower to call a phone number when he landed... and that would be the end of his days as a pilot. That's assuming he didn't have a fighter come along to say hello beforehand.

I would have liked to hear DEN Center asking wtf they were up to when it came time for that little loopy bit and back-track for the bottom of the "G"

Re:Hmmmmmm (1)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921718)

Well actual I was partial trained for F-16 Operation Control by the RNLAF (Dutch Airforce) so I guess we where more free in our movement then others :-)

Although it's been a while ago, I remeber one of usual sayings like: If you're not faster then the Falcon or smaller then a kite, you better do as we like. ;-)
Though mostly my navy buddy answered with: "Can you handle 130Kg of metal flying pinpointed towards you at mach 3? No? Thought so!"

Re:Hmmmmmm (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919376)

He left a airport and arrived at the same airport. He didnt fly anywhere.

Re:Hmmmmmm (2, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921526)

Ironically, both this flight and the non-stop around the world flight can not be logged as cross country flight because they both arrived at their departure airport with no other stops. To log cross country time, you must have a stop somewhere other than your point of origin.

Re:Hmmmmmm (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919140)

As long as your not in restricted airspce you can fly in what ever circle you want. the sky is like the water, while there are "lanes" they are loosely defiend and fill a fraction of the total area in which one can fly.

Re:Hmmmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920984)

Because they do not micromanage the flights. If so, they would need several thousand more employees to review something that has no relavance on anything. Unlike the trends of many managers, not everything needs to be managed and controlled just for the sake of managing and controlling it.

Re:Hmmmmmm (2, Informative)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921444)

The FAA does not approve flight plans. Pilots file them with the FAA. Flight plans are optional unless you fly IFR. Even IFR flight plans can be cancelled at any time, at pilot discretion. Ultimately, even if a flight plan is filed, it is not opened (activated) unless the pilot wants to do so. If a flight plan is not opened within two hours after the filed start flight time, it is automatically expired from the system. In some cases, it can be recovered up to three or four afters after, preventing a refiling...but don't hold your breath. Refiling is probably easier in most cases.

The primary intent of a flight plan is simply to allow the FAA to intelligently dispatch resources in case you fail to close your flight plan. Basically, they want to know where they should call before they start searching air ports. If that fails, they need to know where to tell other pilots, CAP, rescue, etc., to start looking at your flight path. So on and so on. That way rescue escalation can proceed in a cost effective manner. Without a flight plan, in the event a mayday can not be sent, chances are the FAA wouldn't even know to start looking for you.

Contrary to popular myth, there are lots of places, even in the US, which do not have radar coverage at all altitudes. As such, a flight plan becomes an important safety net.

and I thought... (3, Insightful)

Speed Pour (1051122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918878)

...the super bowl was an incredibly stupid waste of advertising money for a dot.com

I guess they found a way to trump stupid

Re:and I thought... (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919092)

Its a test flight, its not as if the entire purpose of the flight was to do some skywriting, if they hadnt done this then they would have gone round and round in a figure of eight for exactly the same period of time. There were other reasons for this flight, which would have been the basis for the expenditure, this is jsut a little fun.

Re:and I thought... (1)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921402)

...the super bowl was an incredibly stupid waste of advertising money for a dot.com
nonsense. as a direct result of this advertisement I bought 10 G5's and am presently using them to write "Suck it, Polar Bears!" across the entire western hemisphere.

They missed a V (4, Funny)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918974)

GVV for global vvarming.

The first thing I thought of (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918992)

was a plane doing a night flight with a huge array of big leds as in air writing [discovery.com]
Now THAT would be cool

Re:The first thing I thought of (3, Insightful)

satellitenoise (1060984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919176)

LEDs on a plane? That's dangerous. If it flies over Boston, they might consider it a hoax device.

It may be as popular as (1)

mikerubin (449692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919188)

Snakes on a plane

Re:It may be as popular as (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919626)

Snape's on a plane. [savagechickens.com]

My only thoughts are (2, Funny)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918994)

It looks a bit wobbly and crap, also couldn't they have spelt out more than 2 letters? I mean they had the entier US air space!

Howlong befor a wealthy geek writes All You Base Are Belong to Us?

Re:My only thoughts are (1)

marto (110299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919012)

"Howlong befor a wealthy geek writes All You Base Are Belong to Us?"

Or worse, Bill Gates pays to have the message "Please upgrade to Vista" spelt out in this manner, 24/7 :P

Re:My only thoughts are (2, Funny)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919194)

Just so long as the pilot doesn't have to crash at the end :)

Re:My only thoughts are (1)

marto (110299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919318)

If the in flight entertainment systems were Microsoft powered, I wonder how the passengers would react if half way through a movie, all of the screens displayed the BSOD :P

Re:My only thoughts are (3, Funny)

Arimus (198136) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919556)

Or with vista, just stand by the cockpit and shout stop stop stop or eject eject eject ;)

Etch-a-sketch (4, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 7 years ago | (#17918996)

Doesn't it remind you of the drawings that you used to do with an etch-a-sketch ?

one way to make money out of testing... (4, Informative)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919014)

Well if you've got to send up a plane empty to do some flight testing, I guess it's a pretty good result if you can sucker the world's media into giving you global coverage about your company on the side!

Horizon to horizon (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919070)

memories written on the wind...

It would have looked better (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919096)

if they would have used Cursive Writing. I'm assuming that they remember cursive writing.

Re:It would have looked better (0, Offtopic)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919454)

Sure I know cursive, Fuck, damn, shit, hell....

Cool but expensive (0)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919098)

It's been very cool. But quite expensive.
Leaving a comment on /. with those two letters would have been cheaper by far.
And with more visibility becasuse /. is more visited than Flightware.Com.

Re:Cool but expensive (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919544)

"It's been very cool. But quite expensive.
Leaving a comment on /. with those two letters would have been cheaper by far.
And with more visibility becasuse /. is more visited than Flightware.Com."

Maybe, but I think the demographics are slightly different. That, or maybe I'm the only one on Slashdot that can't afford a private jet :(

Me (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919108)

Hey folks,

I was the pilot for this flight, and it was a shakedown flight.

But.

The GV displayed in the flight path is purely coincidental.

Truth is, I was lost.

Failed marketing (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919142)

GV? Looks like the ice cream fell off the cone to me.

Re:Failed marketing (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919222)

Yeah ?
Imagine what the poor guy who just found out his secretary is pregnant thought when he muttered "god, give me a sign" right before he looked into the air & saw it.

Surely (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919236)

We have some tech which could enable a plane with a computer controlled thingy and coloured smoke make pretty pictures in the sky?

Re:Surely (1)

Romwell (873455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921926)

They've been doing it all over Brooklyn last summer, with white smoke though. Some crop duster was writing things in sky, and each time it kept on for like a minute before the wind blew it away. Impressive, though I can't remember what copmany/priduct the ad was for =)

Ugly font (5, Funny)

Anders Andersson (863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919242)

With a size of 3 billion points, breaking an earlier record [gpsdrawing.com] , couldn't they have afforded a slightly more sophisticated typeface, such as Courier?

My browser (Firefox) doesn't go beyond 72 points. Is there a skywriting plugin available somewhere?

Re:Ugly font (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919414)

and to think I wasted my mod points on some random crap... Well done sir

I don't get it... (1)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919286)

...what on earth is the point of skywriting in a scale so large the only way to see it is on a crummy flightplan?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919634)

...what on earth is the point of skywriting in a scale so large the only way to see it is on a crummy flightplan?

Dig further. It includes the GPS logs including ground speed, altitude, lat and lon recorded every couple minutes. You can tell when they hit the jetstream (or maybe the throtle) as level flight went from around 300 knots to 500.

Ob Futurama (4, Funny)

LarsWestergren (9033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919308)

Leela: "Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"
Fry: "Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no sir."

11 states? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919380)

I count 12 on the map...

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Iowa
  3. Minnesota
  4. South Dakota
  5. Wyoming
  6. Montana
  7. Idaho
  8. Utah
  9. Colorado
  10. New Mexico
  11. Nebraska
  12. Kansas

Re:11 states? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920186)

I did too, but maybe they didn't count the small portion of New Mexico. It's possible the map is slightly off and they never actually entered.

Re:11 states? (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920618)

Wyoming doesn't really exist.

According to Garfield, Wyoming is an Indian word for "nobody lives here"

Re:11 states? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17921174)

Have you ever been to Iowa?

Eleven.

Obligatory (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17919464)

SNAKES! SNAKES ON A PLANE!

Reminds me of this guy (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919514)

Suspect planned smiley face bomb pattern ... Accused mailbox bomber Lucas Helder told authorities he was planting pipe bombs in a pattern to show a happy face during his five-state weekend spree - cnn [cnn.com]
If you ever feel the urge to imitate any of these people, try signing your name by pissing in the snow instead.
That is more impressive and demonstrates more skill.

Re:Reminds me of this guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17920578)

That was one of the most hilarious bombing campaigns ever. I wish terrorists should learn from him and inject a little comedy into their attacks, even just little things like writing LOL PWNED BY ALLAH on their bombs or something.

Now that is just silly (1)

waif69 (322360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919516)

The only people that would be attracted to this are the people who are already planning on buying a GV. It's not that people on the ground would be able to say "Oh, that is really cool, let's go buy one."

Airvertising? (1)

blankoboy (719577) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919784)

Just wait until we have flying cars and every Joe spam-pack can airvertise tothe masses. We'll need symantec anti-airvertising goggles to filter it out!

Re:Airvertising? (1)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17922058)

We'll need symantec anti-airvertising goggles to filter it out!

My eyes! The goggles do nothing! [wikipedia.org]

How about google earth adverts! (1)

33_softly (704492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17919870)

Now that would be a cool way to get come attention. Much like when Google did some fly overs in Australia there were people out in athletic fields trying to get noticed with big temporary signage.

Very Ms GVUS (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920238)

Nothing else to say on this very funny expensive pollution BizPrank.

Lookup in the Sky (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17920894)

That flight was a stupid waste of fuel and time. The point of skywriting is to push a message to vast numbers of people in the sky we all have in common, "just look up". That version requries people to search to pull a flightpath in an obscure webpage that they "look up" with a great deal of effort for a tiny reward.

But who cares about the stupid skywriting stunt? That flightpath page is supercool. How do I find the specific flight number of a commercial flight I took, to look at my actual flightpath, without poring through all the flight activity from its originating airport?

Re:Lookup in the Sky (2, Informative)

Sacarino (619753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921034)

On the sidebar, there's a Flight/Tail # input box. You'd put your airline's ICAO/IATA code in there along with the flight #

For instance, DAL1237 (or DL1237) will give you Delta flight 1237 from Atlanta (ATL) to Orlando (MCO)

A quick and dirty lookup is at this website [airtimetable.com] , although you can find 'em all over the place

STUPID HUMAN TRICKS (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921784)

Now that is just plain DUMB!

Hey, aviation has geeks too! (1)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 7 years ago | (#17921936)

Aviation geeks have web sites they like to or have to look at every day. This advertisement is meant to target those people, and then creep out and get a few eyes outside of the aviation community. Someone looking at flight plans for aircraft in the Midwest would probably get a kick out of it.

It's kind of the same situation if you had someone outside of the tech community look at a review for a bright and shiny $5,000 PC. We all know it's excessive, expensive, and something a non-tech will hardly understand. However, it gets us thinking about the components, and the capabilities of some of the hardware in that PC. We then want to either pony up and buy it if we're well funded. Or we buy the components and try to build something similar. If we can't do that, we can buy a budget model from the same manufacturer.

Gulfstream was saying, "Hey look at our technology, the avionics, and the pilots that fly our aircraft." We can fly out of an airport and using our Garmin G1000 suite to carve a precise course and get to our destination relatively quickly. Compare that to, "Dual core processors make your database server retrieve data more quickly".

The $5,000 PC and the $50,000,000 both use up an obscene amount of resources... no doubt about that. But people flying these aircraft need practice too... They're not just the people flying billionaires around. Some of them fly commercial aircraft too. They have to get up there and learn how to use the systems and conduct long cross country flights before they're trusted with many human lives. If they throw in an advertising ploy in between... Hey... they're killing two birds with one stone. You wouldn't like it if someone came in and unplugged your PC while you were playing a game or reading Slashdot because you were, "Using up energy that was contributing to global warming", would you?
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