You’ve probably seen it many times in your life. You’re at the beach catching some rays on vacation when all the sudden you notice letters slowly being drawn in the sky behind a plane and say “Did I have one to many Pina Colada’s or is this really happening? How do they do that?!”
It’s called skywriting, or skytyping, and it’s a creative way to advertise or promote whatever it is you want people to pay attention to. But how does it actually work? I found out for you.
Skywriting writes the letters in the sky by mixing something called paraffin oil into smoky plane exhaust. Skywriting is usually one plane writing up to six characters. Some skilled pilots can maneuver upside down if they need the smoke to make certain letters.
Skytyping on the other hand is a technique that uses smoke emitted in a series of bursts, like dots. They use a computer to map out the master plan and then electronic signals control the smoke output. The blurring of the smoke is what makes the desired end effect you see in the sky from your towel in the beach.