Simple Camera Trick Captures Helicopter Magically Flying Without Moving Blades

helicopter video

At first glance, this helicopter video by YouTuber Chris Fay seems like nothing remarkable. But, the longer you watch the scene, you'll quickly notice one glaring difference; the helicopter’s blades aren’t moving! Rather than rotating in a continuous and fast motion, the aircraft appears to magically float into the sky.

So, how does this happen? It’s not the work of a special helicopter, but rather a phenomena of video capture. The camera’s frame rate is perfectly synced with the rotation speed of the chopper’s blades. As a result, the blades look as though they’re not moving and are frozen in time. This mesmerizing effect lasts through takeoff. Once the helicopter starts to zoom toward its intended destination, the synchronicity is broken and the blades begin turning.

In this mesmerizing helicopter video, the aircraft seems to magically float into the air.

helicopter video

This visual effect is serendipitous—the rotation speed of the blades happens to match with the camera's frame rate.

helicopter video

Watch it all happen in the short video:

Chris Fay: YouTube
h/t: [PetaPixel]

All GIFs via video from Chris Fay.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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