A high-tech light show lit up the skies over University City on Tuesday night to thank front-line workers in the fight against the coronavirus.
The show was designed by the drone light show creator Verge Aero, which is based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Works offices and labs. The fast-flying drones formed images of medical symbols, a flattening curve, a waving American flag, a ringing Liberty Bell, the LOVE sign, and the message “Thank u heroes."
Part of the local #PhillyShinesBlue campaign and the international #LightItBlue campaign, the show featured about 136 illuminated drones whizzing 400 feet over Franklin Field, according to Pennovation Works.
The display was staged close to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, and its creators said they hoped doctors, nurses, and health workers across the city would see it.
“The show was planned to ensure maximum visibility for those inside the hospital and allow them to view the show while maintaining social distance,” Verge Aero CEO Nils Thorjussen said in a statement. “There was no advance publicity. We flew the show solely for these heroes and wanted them to enjoy it in a safe environment without crowds.”
The show was coordinated with officials from the university and nearby hospitals with helipads. The Federal Aviation Administration was also on site to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.
The show occurred just hours after the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds staged an aerial tribute to thank health-care workers in the Philadelphia area.