How Are Aerial Banner Ads Launched?
Have you ever been at a large gathering somewhere, like a sporting event or a beach, and seen an airplane fly by pulling an announcement or an advertisement of some type? These ads or messages are called aerial ads, and have proven to be an effective way to get a message out to a large group quickly.
Most of us have been at a large gathering somewhere, a sports event or a beach, and have seen an airplane fly by pulling an announcement or an advertisement of some type. This is called aerial advertising and this method of getting a message out has proven to be very effective.
Have you ever wondered how they get such a huge banner into the sky? After all, if the banner were attached to the plane before it took off, two problems would result. First, the banner would be dragged across the runway, damaging it. Second, The drag of the banner would make the take off either impossible or more difficult, making the drag time even longer.
To get the banner flying behind the plane requires a skillful pilot, good materials, and a plan. First, the pilot takes off without the banner but with a long hook called a "grapnel hook" attached to the tail of the plane with the hook end secured in the pilot's window.
When the plane is safely off the ground, the pilot releases the hook and lets it fall so that now it is hanging below the plane, still attached to the tail. On the ground, the banner is laid out in an open area, attached to a lead pole in front. The lead pole is attached to a long rope called the pick up rope, and this, in turn, is attached to a loop of rope that is stretched between two poles about five feet off the ground.
Next the plane flies over the open area where the banner's loop is visible. As he passes low over the area, the hook dragging below the plane is designed to catch the loop, pulling the lead rope and then the banner into the air. The moment he reaches the pick up area, he pulls back on the stick and throttles the engine, making the plane soar upward at a steep angle. The hook snags the loop of rope, and pulls the banner up into the sky. If for some reason his hook misses, then he circles around and tries again.
But how do they keep the banner upright and not, say, spiraling? The end of heavy billboards or banners might have tiny parachutes attached that keep it out. The bottom is also weighted so that it stays down. On some the letters are seven feet tall and it might be up to 50 letters in the message. So with pulling a message that long takes great skill and a reliable plane.
When the pilot has completed his mission over the designated area, he will fly the banner back to the drop off place, fly low again, and, release the hook so the banner falls to the ground unharmed. This way it is reusable if that is appropriate.
Some larger planes have developed a method of taking off with the banner behind, being careful not to damage it before it is airborne. But the small prop planes are still using the above method to get the banner into the air safely.
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All this may seem like a lot of trouble, but the result is worth the effort. Thousands will see the banner, both at the event and on the way to and from it. The message will get out and people will be influenced by the message. But not all aerial advertising is provided equally. Some simply take an order and contract it out. Since 1996, AirSign has been leading the industry by taking personal care of their customers using the best pilots, sharpest looking planes, and providing accountability for their work through free GPS tracking. Give them a call and find out what they can do for you!