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Flying drone will air-drop beer to music festival attendees


May 6, 2013

A flying drone will be delivering beer at this year's Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa

A flying drone will be delivering beer at this year's Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa

Until now, a beer dropping out of the sky into the middle of a party has been a feat that only existed in TV commercials. Thanks to Darkwing Aerials though, attendees at the Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa can fulfill the dream of beer lovers everywhere and have a fresh brew delivered to them from above with the help of a flying drone.

Much like the last year's Burrito Bomber, this delivery drone is a standard UAV equipped with a release mechanism for dropping a payload – in this case, one can of frosty cold beer. Instead of a wing-shaped model however, the designers opted for an octocopter from SteadiDrone to handle the not-so-heavy lifting.

From August 8-10, when Oppikoppi is in full swing, festival-goers in the District 9 campsite will be able to order a beer through an iOS app and have it dropped at their location. Once it's released, the beer can deploys an attached parachute and floats gently to the ground for pickup.

The drone is piloted manually at the moment, but the designers hope to have it making deliveries automatically soon (following a GPS grid). How they'll be able to prevent the wind from sending a delivery off-course – or worse, disabling the parachute entirely and beaning someone on the head – is another matter entirely.

Check out the video below to see how the modified octocopter will rain delicious beer on thirsty festival-goers this summer.

Sources: YouTube, Oppikoppi via Huffington Post

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things. All articles by Jonathan Fincher

I think it should not be limited to beer. Not every one drinks beer. If it brought my favorite diet soda, I think that would be just as cool and have it appeal to way more people and places.


If you go wear a hard hat as a sun hat. I do regardless because it allows airflow over the top of my head and you never know when it might serve you well in its design function.


Yeah, I wonder if it will hoist a big gulp (Bloomberg notwithstanding)?

The parachute doesnt seem to quite slow it down enough to mitigate skull dents. And imagine that grassy meadow tightly paced with mellow music lovers? That beer can drifted quite a long way. I imagine someone would bogart my brew before I could get there.

It will be very interesting to read the postmortem on this event.

Bob Ehresman

I can see it now.. "Dude I got really BOMBED at the concert last night... ended up in the hospital!" "Wow, too much alcohol?" "Concussion from the beer cans hitting my head"

OR "Riot breaks out over beer-drop interceptions at local concert..."

Timothy Jahn

If I'd been at Kittyhawk when the Wright Brothers were experimenting, I'd have cheered them on and brought them beer. If someone actualy was stitching body parts together and bringing the assembly back to life, I would have no problem with that either. But this, this is so wrong, I'd never go to any event where this was taking place. I won't be having a hyena as and indoor pet anytime soon either.

Dave B13

Let's see...dense crowd filled with drunk people, check...8 spinning rotor blades, check...5 pound helicopter heavy payloads, remote pilot, check...what can go wrong?


Interesting! Oppikoppi is the name of a music festival held in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, near the mining town of Northam (Google OppiKopi and view images for OppiKoppi).

You rather need a M1-26 helicopter from the Russian Air Force to deliver the required beer for OppiKoppi. Perhaps the drone helicopter in this article will be more useful to spy on the locations of the speed cops on the roads to OppiKoppi.

Smit Nols

What a idiotic idea..... That's a lot of weight and danger over a packed crowd... with a payload that changes the fly dynamics considerable once it is dropped. Whoever came up with this has no idea how a multirotor should be used and more importantly has no respect for the safety considerations required for aircraft.

I fly a couple different multirotors and try to avoid people whenever possible, a heavily weighted system over a crowd is just plain stupid.

Tom Hirschmann

yes, but can it land at Waterkloof AFB? :-)

Karen Fraser

At last a useful task for a drone!!! :-) But I think it would be better to bring it right to the buyer's hand. Not that hard and the parachute idea will get it in the wrong hands virtually every time I suspect.


I like how out of all the topics, references to consumption of beer has such a high interest from readers.

To that I now know how a world war will start: Scientists working on genetically modifying barley and wheat in the interest of better yield accidently create a plant virus that destroys the barley/wheat family world wide. With nothing better to do, men get angry and it escalates.


warren52nz, I like your suggestion, and I believe that to be a much better option.

However, I can just see it now: Some drunk guy orders a beer from this service and is so drunk that he forgets about it and then starts running for his life yelling about how the government has sent a drone to find him.


These things will never make it to that concert. They'll all get bought up by over-the-border drug smugglers faster than Darkwing Aerials can build them. Hmmm, I wonder where I can buy into some Darkwing stock....

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