Travis Air Force Base Replaces Fireworks With Drone Light Show - NBC 7 San Diego

Travis Air Force Base Replaces Fireworks With Drone Light Show

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    Travis Air Force Base Replaces Fireworks With Drone Light Show

    Drones light shows have wow-ed people during the Super Bowl half-time show and San Francisco Pride celebration and now it's replacing the traditional fireworks show for the Fourth of July. Scott Budman reports.

    (Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018)

    Drones light shows have wow-ed people during the Super Bowl half-time show and San Francisco Pride celebration and now it's replacing the traditional fireworks show for the Fourth of July.

    The Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, just an hour away from San Francisco, has partnered with Intel and opted to use the company's 500 "Shooting Star" drones to light up the Indepedence Day's night sky as thousands of acres of wildfires burn not too far away up north.

    "It's kind of geeky, right? It's so geeky," said Natalie Cheung from Intel. "I love it, every time the drone flies up, my stomach flutters a little bit with excitement, and I'm just excited to turn around and see the audience and see their reactions for the first time."

    However, officials have delayed the light show to due to the strong winds in the area. The rest of the July 4 celebration will go on as planned but the Intel light show will be performed on Thursday, July 5, officials announced Wednesday morning.

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    Traditional fireworks are getting a high-tech makeover. Drone lightshows -- or digital fireworks -- feature hundreds of drones moving in a 3D display. 

    (Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018)

    The performance will be between 9 and 10 p.m. on Wednesday and will only be accessible to people with base access. The light show will still be visible to up to three miles away for people without base access, the base said on Facebook.

    "We wanted to think about how we could paint a different night sky," said Cheung. "Instead of having fireworks, have digital fireworks."

    The base said the wind will have to be less than 20 miles per hour or less to be able to fly the drones.

    Attendees can arrive at the Forbes Gate, which will be open to the public at 6:30 p.m., and a bus will take them to the event area where the main celebration will begin around 9 p.m.

    Although the light show will be delayed, families can expect food vendors, snow cones, bounce houses and deejays, according to the military base.