World Games drone pilot makes official debut

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – World Games events are taking place all over Birmingham, but what you might not know are the many people working hard behind the scenes to help bring the magic of World Games to life.

Here at the World Games, you never know what you may see. There is innovative technology everywhere, even while flying in the skies of Birmingham.

The SkySurfer aircraft made its official world debut at the opening ceremony of the world games. The plane’s founder and creator, Hunter Kowald, came through the protective stage as Bootsy Collins’ stunt double.

“We’ve been running non-stop for the last 5-6 days to love preparing for this exact moment and for it to finally be over and done and it was an amazing show and everyone loved it, it was enough emotional for me,” Kowald said. “I was pretty happy.”

Kowald has worked for this moment all his life, and now he is the creator of what he says is the smallest plane in the world.

Prototypes had been in development for several years, but Kowald says his last plane came out about a year ago.

Since then, his invention has taken off, offering many opportunities. Kowald was recently featured as Green Goblin’s stunt double in Spiderman: No Way Home.

“I didn’t expect it to be so viral but after posting some silly videos of me getting high that I was proud of just to show off my friends and family then it just took off and spread around the world,” Kowald said.

Kowald’s invention may defy the odds of physics, but it’s not without its challenges. He says the amount of energy he consumes is equal to eight or nine homes running at the same time.

But, with the right materials, he is now able to fly the flame retardant aircraft for about 20 minutes at a stretch.

Kowald says he was grateful to share his skysurfer plane with the world and that the opening ceremony was the best event he had ever hosted.

“Everyone worked so hard,” Kowald said. “It’s great to see everyone’s hard work and energy finally come together and create this final product that was the Opening Ceremony.”

Kowald hopes to make the SkySurfer aircraft a consumer product or a safe on-site experience in the future for anyone who wants the chance to fly.

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