Superman and Iron Man Reach New Heights

Created: 2013-07-04 04:49 EST


A few people looking up at the Southern California sky this year may have seen a life-sized Superman flying around in the daytime.

Designer and engineer Otto Dieffenbach and his business partner Ed Hanley run a company that makes radio-controlled planes that can look like your favorite comic book characters.

[Otto Dieffenbach, Designer and Engineer]:
"My interest went up exponentially as I discovered the new materials and new technologies that were available that weren't available back in the 60s and 70s, and as I got into it I was invited to be one of the fliers for the golfers at Torrey Pines and I had actually designed those golfers and coming out of that I realize that there was a business here to enhance brands for particular corporations making flying figures."

After experimenting with different materials Dieffenbach and Hanley settled on a very light styrofoam.

Their creations are not limited to just Superman and his cohorts.

[Ed Hanley]:
"We envision just about any character you can think of flying and adding a dimension that's never been used before. There are banners and there's planes that fly pulling a big banner but to actually see a character, a life-size character fly in the stadium or at an event, down the beach, wherever is just brand-new. No one's ever seen that, it just blows everybody's mind."

The company's roster of aerial images also includes the Man of Steel, Iron Man and Ms Emerson—a flying lady adorned with wings—and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles-per-hour (mph).