Posted by: Peter on Dec 29, 2008
The vanish of a jet while it rests on the tarmac has become one of the most significant vanishes of all time. On many occasions this illusion has been performed before a live television audience, while a crowd of onlookers keep an eye on the real thing.
It is not an illusion most magicians can afford to perform, still I will explain the most common way of performing this trick.
The audience will see the jet as it taxis onto an area at the landing strip. The crew will park the plane and disembark. The audience, both directions. Spotligths will be pointed at the plane, making it fully illuminated against the dark night.
At the performer's command, the ligths to flash off, then back on.
When the ligths are relit, the plane is gone. The spotlights are once again pointed in the same direction as before, but there is no jet plane, only the tarmac and the night. The plane is then brought back in the same manner. The lights will flash off then on, and the plane back. The Crew boards the plane and taxis it back to the hangar.
The secret: I'm sure that you guessed it: The plane never really leaves the tarmac. But how is it made invisible? Many spotlights are surrounding the plane, which is in a cordoned-off area all set for the effect. Between the massive search ligths and the audience, there is a netting draped from light to ligth. Encircling the plane.
When the plane is first driven or taxied into the area, the one openning between the searchligths is clear of the netting. Once the engines are shut off and the creww disembarks, the technicians will hook up this last piece of netting. This is done under the cover of preparing the these massive searchlights for illumination.
The netting is the same is used on stage productions. One the stage, the netting acts as backdrops and scenes wil change. When backlit, you will see the image on the netting, when front lit you will see rigth through it.
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