Update: So I’m willing to admit we got it COMPLETELY wrong and it’s all real. Casey just released a new video explaining the drone and how it works here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyUrqZBs2XA.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, as we are massive fans of Casey’s (I’ve literally watched every single one of his vlogs and videos, and even his HBO series), but after watching his latest video Human Flying Drone, there are elements of it that leads us to think the video is fake. At least the parts where the drone lifts Casey off the ground.
While the drone itself was apparently a year in the making and is fairly large with 16 rotors, there’s something somewhat unnatural about the way it flies when it picks Casey up off the ground. Some people were quick to claim that it’s fake because he’s holding the rope with one arm which is bent, but in the behind the scenes video on Jesse’s channel, you can clearly see he’s got a hidden harness beneath his Santa outfit that takes most of the weight on the line.
The shots of the drone pulling Casey along the ground or up the hill are believable enough but we think there’s clearly a helicopter (or crane), hiding above the drone and they’ve just edited out the cables.
Tonnes of big media organisations like Mashable and the Verge are claiming it’s true trying to jump on the popularity of viral video without doing an ounce of research. But here’s why we think it’s bogus…
Yes. There have been other drones that have taken off with the weight of a person but they look completely different to Casey’s drone and also fly completely differently. The first we looked at (video below) and appropriately titled The Swarm has an insane 54 rotors on it and it barely gets him 4 meters off the ground, flying out of control as it battles with the weight of a person. Compare this to the smoothness of Casey’s drone?
The second we looked at was the VolvoCoper from E-Volvo that is GIANT with 18 rotors, each about two feet long. It’s basically a helicopter and made us even more skeptical about the ease at which the smaller 16 rotor drone lifts Casey off the ground.
When Casey takes off for the big jump at 3:20 in his Human Flying Drone video, there’s a big cut between where you see the drone pulling him along the ground with the cable on an angle and then all of a sudden the cable is straight and entirely vertical in the next shot as if something else is pulling him from above…. a helicopter maybe?
Lastly I don’t think they’d risk his life flying him that high in the air if something were to go wrong and his weight caused the drone to crash…We honestly hope we’re wrong as it’s a dope video and we want him to continue to make epic and inspiring content like this.
But let us know what you guys think in the comments? Is it fake? Can a drone of this size really lift a human?