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Skywriting is the process of using one or more small aircraft, able to expel special smoke during flight, to fly in certain patterns that create writing readable from the ground. These messages can be advertisements, general messages of celebration or goodwill, personal messages such as a marriage proposals and birthday wishes, or acts of protest.


The typical smoke generator consists of a pressurized container of viscosity oil, such as Chevron/Texaco "Canopus 13" (formerly "Corvus Oil"). The oil is injected into the hot exhaust manifold, vaporizing it into a huge volume of dense white smoke.

Relatively few pilots have the skills to skywrite legibly. Also, wake turbulence and wind disperse and shear the smoke, causing the writing to blur and twist, usually within a few minutes. For these reasons, computer-controlled "skytyping" has been developed where multiple small aircraft, flying in line abreast formation, write in dot-matrix fashion, creating messages that can be much longer, and legible for longer periods, than those of traditional skywriting.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Skywriting" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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