A Lone Drone In Detroit Airspace Sees The City As It Never Has Been Seen

July 15, 2012, 11:55 PM by  Bill McGraw

A hobbyist who goes by the name of Tretch5000 has created a video of Detroit that is original, haunting, vertiginous, lush, sad and totally cool.

And he did it with a helicopter-like drone with four rotors, the latest in technology in getting FPV -- First Person Video. 

Tretch5000's drone buzzes over the green lawns and trees of Belle Isle. 

It glides between floors of an abandoned factory and out over a meadow of discarded tires. 

It zig-zags among the pillars of an old church that looks like a Roman ruin. 

It soars up the back, over the top and down the front of the Michigan Central Station in a dizzying trip that gives the viewer the sensation of falling -- or flying -- off the roof.

Tretch5000 apparently posted the video by accident on YouTube June 22, and while only 363 views had been recorded as of early this morning, the feedback is excellent.

"Wicked awesome!!" said someone with the screen name rgthd007.

StarHoppen wrote: "Your quad is a surprisingly stable platform -- enables some very artistic shots not usually available to less-than-megabux filmmakers. I'm impressed."

Tretch5000 responded: "Thanks guys. I didn't even realize I had made it public. It's been on my youtube channel forever But never made it accessible. Must have hit the wrong button or something. Lol."

Domestic Drones are the latest thing in high-tech gadgetry; Wired magazine gushes over them in a cover story in its July issue. They are similar in concept to the drones that are flying over Afghanistan, but they are way smaller, much cheaper and they don't carry terrorist-obliterating weaponry. Their payload is most often a camera.

Precisely how Trech5000 handled his drone is not known -- Tretch could not be reached -- but generally operators control the drone by wearing goggles through which they see what the aircraft sees, and guide it by using double joy sticks, similar to the CIA. 

Tretch5000 has other drone videos on Youtube, including one that contains much of the footage in the above video. He also has a remarkable video of a mini drone chopper with four rotors in action. 

Deadline Detroit would love to talk to Tretch5000. We can be reached by clicking here.

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