Drone flies through fireworks, gets explosive footage

A camera mounted on a drone captures a unique perspective of a fireworks show from within the belly of the sparkling beast.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Fireworks show
A drone gets up close and personal with fireworks. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

We're all familiar with fireworks shows. Usually, you sit on the ground on a blanket, looking up as colorful explosions ignite in the sky at a safe distance. Perhaps you've imagined what it would be like to fly through the midst of the show, seeing the rockets of light zipping past you. One drone took the dare and did it.

Reddit user RedditShmedit posted a video recently showing what happened when a DJI Phantom quadcopter carried a camera through exploding fireworks at night. Sparkling city lights are discernible below, giving you a sense of the drone's height in the air.

The real stars are the slo-mo visuals of fireworks arcing through the air, dissipating into smoke as the drone rotates around them. It's mesmerizing. It's also pretty amazing the drone or camera wasn't damaged during the daring shoot.

RedditShmedit notes the quadcopter landed safely, but doesn't recommend trying this for yourself, writing, "I am sure people may try to do the same thing come July 4th this year, but I do not approve." The redditor said the friend who owned the quadcopter, and undertook the fireworks flight, no longer flies drones in populated areas and has since upgraded to a more valuable rig that keeps him from trying any further experiments that might damage the gear.

A month after its fireworks escapades, the drone was lost in the ocean, said RedditShmedit, showing that its luck had run out. At least it left behind a fascinating legacy of fireworks footage.