We've seen quite a few unusual uses for drones in the past year, including everything from pizza drops to Amazon deliveries. But what if you could deliver a whole person? It might not be that much of a stretch if a video showing two RC helicopters lifting a woman off the ground is real.
German group HeliGraphix specializes in using RC helicopters for filming and stunts. The group's HULC (Heavy Ultra-Lifter Crane) project took two Gaui X7 helicopters and upgraded the equipment to handle more weight, enough to lift a person. Lady Gaga required a massive flying contraption to achieve the same effect the two relatively small copters recently pulled off.
According to HeliGraphix, the total payload, including the weight of the helicopters, cameras, mounts, and the woman herself, totaled 124 pounds. There was some debate about whether or not to make the attempt with the heavy go-go boots as part of the costume, but the boots won out. It didn't seem to put a damper on the choppers' lifting prowess.
HeliGraphix spent four months and nearly $14,000 on developing the project. There is a trade-off to feeding that much power through an RC helicopter. The batteries are drained after just 40 seconds of flight. That means we won't be seeing Amazon drafting these for furniture delivery anytime soon.
The video evidence will likely result in a lot of people saying, "That's fake!" However, RC specialist sites and Gaui, the maker of the helicopters, aren't questioning the feat, and HeliGraphix insists it's real. The group has painstakingly documented the upgrades, adding to the believability of the stunt.