400 Drones Light up the Sky for Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations

The drones used geofencing and location sensors to create larger-than-life visual displays

Scarlett Evans

June 6, 2022

2 Min Read
Image shows Drones form a Corgi with a bone during the Platinum Party At The Palace at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2022 in L
Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Spectators at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in London were treated to a display of 400 drones by drone light show company Sky Magic, with the bots used to create images in the sky including a corgi, a stamp and a cup of tea.

Image shows Drones form a teapot and teacup during the Platinum Party At The Palace at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.

Launched in 2015, Sky Magic has provided its drone displays for a host of events over the years, including the Venice Biennale, London’s 2022 New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Commonwealth games. 

As it did with London’s 2022 New Year’s Eve celebrations, Sky Magic worked alongside broadcaster BBC for the Jubilee show, as well as government and palace officials.

The group uses a combination of robotics, 3D environment simulation and aeronautical engineering to create its displays, with its system developed to control mass drone flight formations in both indoor and outdoor settings using a single ground control system (GCS). The group also offers an in-house autopilot system and flight simulations to improve safety and predictability. 

To create the display, Sky Magic creates individual way points in their software which the automated drones would move to, monitoring the alignment of the light display using “locator drones.” To ensure safety at Buckingham Palace was maintained, the drones feature two geofences which prevent them from crashing into one another – if one hits a geofence, it powers down and lowers to the ground. 


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