Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Writers in the sky

Whatever happened to skywriters - those skilled aviators for whom the sky was a blank canvas?  (Or banner-towing aircraft for that matter.  Where have they gone?).  We marvel at the likes of the Red Arrows and their wonderful smoke-filled displays but seeing actual words formed by looping and diving aircraft is always a special thrill.  Both they and aeroplanes trailing banners hark back to more cheery times, I always feel.

The above clip, produced for Chevrolet in 1935, features a dashing aviator explaining the intricacies of skywriting to a well-dressed (and rather game!) young lady before flying off to do a bit of advertising for the aforementioned car company.  It is part of a selection of similar films called the Prelinger Archives (including this amusing retelling of the Cinderella story, in which our heroine drives a 1937 Chevy!), which I was fortunate enough to discover via The Atlantic.  Enjoy!


  1. We get the banner pulling ones here every time the NASCAR races are in town! (Along with the Goodyear Airship).

  2. The only way to fly....in an old Curtis with a rotary engine.
    I do not know if the planes shown are Curtis biplanes or not, but I did get to fly in biplanes about 20 years ago and it is a great way to fly. Old Piper Tripacers are nice too.

    I've seen a few sky writers, but very few. Mostly boring banners.

    Thanks for the interesting video.

  3. Thanks for posting! It's awesome and this might be inspirational for the next swing dance party we're planning. : )

  4. There is a banner-towing plane near my house in Tucson Arizona almost every day, and about two weeks ago there was actual skywriting! I have never seen any besides that, but I think it's great. If any man wants to win my hand in marriage, that is the way to propose (bonus points if he is the pilot!)

    That's a great video, by the way.


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