Video: iPhone sends images to second plane at 35,000 feet via Apple’s AirDrop

“Taking peer-to-peer direct wireless transfers to new heights, a new video shows Apple’s AirDrop technology being used to send pictures taken from one plane to another in-flight, at 35,000 feet,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“YouTube poster LouB747 posted the video on August 3,” Wuerthele reports. “The video depicts him in the pilot seat, communicating from 35,000 feet, with the other Singapore Airlines plane at 36,000 feet in close proximity.”

Wuerthele reports, “The pilot sent pictures of the plane in flight to the other plane, with the recipient acknowledging receipt on the plane’s radio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s AirDrop. Appropriately named.

This has to be a world record for AirDrop altitude (and maybe distance)!

Oh, wait: AppleInsider “spoke to a former naval aviator who has transitioned to commercial flight. He confirmed to us that this is not all that uncommon amongst pilots, and he has done it at approximately the same range and altitude on more than one occasion.”

How to share content via AirDrop on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch here.

How to use AirDrop to send content from your Mac here.


  1. I’m amazed that this works so well.

    When you’re using AirDrop, the BlueTooth system looks for nearby compatible Apple devices and negotiates a connection to establish a peer to peer WiFi connection so that the data transfer is fast and secure.

    We assume that Bluetooth under normal conditions only has a range of a few tens of feet, but the actual range achieved by these pilots during flight must be hundreds if not thousands of feet.

    I’m not surprised that the WiFi can reach another aircraft nearby, but amazed that the BlueTooth can.

    1. IB Times is claiming that this story is a hoax.

      I was puzzled how airborne BlueTooth could have managed to work over fifty times the operational range that would normally be achievable. I have done a lot of work with radio microphones in airborne situations inside aircraft and on parachutists. My radio microphones work at ultra high frequencies, comparable to that of BlueTooth, and although the airborne operational range is always a lot greater than in ground to ground operations, I’ve never encountered anything like a fifty fold increase.

  2. What I like about Airdrop is you can send multiple photos and videos to someone instead of clogging up Messages. It’s just a really effective and quick file transfer medium. Family get-together generate a lot of images and the easiest way to distribute them is via Airdrop. Woe unto those poor saps using other devices!

  3. My wife and I attended a wedding recently and she took 150+ photos and a handful of videos with her iPhone. Other guests wanted the photos so we airdropped all of them at once. Took maybe 5-7 minutes to transfer all but it worked flawlessly. Sure beats email or iMessages.

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