How David Copperfield Made the Plane Disappear: A Look at the Science Behind the Illusion

David Copperfield’s Plane Trick: The Impossible Made Possible

When David Copperfield made a Boeing 747 airplane disappear in front of a live audience in 1983, he left the world scratching its collective head. How did he do it? Was it a trick of the light? A hologram? Or did he actually use magic?

Over the years, there have been many theories put forward to explain how Copperfield pulled off this amazing feat. Some people believe that he used a combination of mirrors and special effects, while others believe that he had help from aliens or other supernatural forces.

But the truth is, no one really knows for sure how Copperfield made the plane disappear. He has never revealed his secrets, and he likely never will. But that doesn’t stop people from trying to figure it out.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the plane trick and explore some of the most popular theories about how it was done. We’ll also discuss the impact that this illusion has had on the world of magic and illusionism.

| How Did David Copperfield Make The Plane Disappear? |
| Step 1: Copperfield places a Boeing 747 on a stage in front of a live audience. |
| Step 2: He uses a combination of sleight of hand, misdirection, and illusion to make the plane appear to disappear. |
| Step 3: The plane is actually hidden in a large box that is concealed by a curtain. |

David Copperfield is one of the most famous magicians in the world. He has performed some of the most amazing illusions ever seen, including making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China. One of his most famous illusions is the “Vanishing Plane.” In this illusion, Copperfield makes a real plane appear to disappear right before the audience’s eyes.

The Basics of the Illusion

The plane that Copperfield uses in the illusion is actually a fake prop made of lightweight materials. The prop is attached to a crane that is hidden by the smoke and fog that Copperfield creates during the illusion. The crane lifts the prop up into the air and out of sight.

The Illusion in Action

Copperfield starts the illusion by talking about the power of imagination. He then asks the audience to close their eyes and imagine a plane flying overhead. When the audience opens their eyes, the plane is gone.

Copperfield uses a number of techniques to make the illusion seem real. He uses smoke and fog to create a sense of mystery and suspense. He also uses music and lighting to create a dramatic effect. And, of course, he uses his own skills as a magician to make the illusion work.

The “Vanishing Plane” is one of David Copperfield’s most famous illusions. It is a testament to his skill as a magician and his ability to create illusions that seem impossible.

The “Vanishing Plane” is a classic example of how magic can use the power of suggestion to create illusions that seem real. Copperfield uses a combination of smoke, fog, music, lighting, and his own skills as a magician to make the illusion work. The result is an illusion that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

The Science Behind the Illusion

The illusion of the vanishing plane is based on the principle of misdirection. Copperfield uses a combination of lighting, sound, and smoke to create the illusion that the plane has disappeared.


Copperfield uses a variety of lighting techniques to create the illusion that the plane has disappeared. He uses bright lights to focus attention on the plane, and then he quickly extinguishes the lights, making it appear as if the plane has vanished.


Copperfield also uses sound effects to create the illusion of the vanishing plane. He plays a loud noise, such as a gunshot or a thunderclap, which masks the sound of the plane being moved.


Copperfield uses smoke to create a hazy atmosphere, which makes it difficult to see the plane clearly. He also uses smoke to obscure the view of the plane as it is being moved.

The Controversy Surrounding the Illusion

The illusion of the vanishing plane has been met with some controversy. Some people believe that the illusion is a hoax. They argue that it is impossible to make a real plane disappear.

Others believe that the illusion is real. They argue that Copperfield is a talented magician and that he is able to create the illusion of the vanishing plane using a combination of skill and trickery.

Copperfield has denied these claims and insists that the illusion is real. He has said that he has performed the illusion for thousands of people and that no one has ever been able to figure out how he does it.

The illusion of the vanishing plane is a fascinating and mysterious phenomenon. It is a testament to Copperfield’s skill and creativity that he has been able to create an illusion that has fooled so many people. Whether you believe that the illusion is real or a hoax, there is no denying that it is a remarkable feat of magic.

How did David Copperfield make the plane disappear?

There are many theories about how David Copperfield made the plane disappear, but the exact method is still a closely guarded secret. Some of the most common theories include:

  • The plane was never real. This theory suggests that the plane that appeared to disappear was actually a hologram or other type of illusion.
  • The plane was hidden in a secret compartment. This theory suggests that the plane was hidden in a large, hidden compartment on the stage.
  • The plane was actually a remote-controlled drone. This theory suggests that the plane was actually a remote-controlled drone that was flown off the stage during the illusion.

It is likely that the truth is a combination of these theories. Copperfield is a master illusionist, and he is known for using a variety of techniques to create his illusions. The plane disappearance is no exception, and it is likely that he used a combination of methods to create the illusion.

Is the plane disappearance real?

Yes, the plane disappearance is real. There are many videos and eyewitness accounts of the illusion, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was faked.

How long did it take David Copperfield to make the plane disappear?

The plane disappearance takes about 20 seconds.

How many people were involved in the plane disappearance illusion?

It is not known exactly how many people were involved in the plane disappearance illusion, but it is likely that there were a few dozen people involved. This would include Copperfield himself, as well as his crew and assistants.

Where did David Copperfield perform the plane disappearance illusion?

The plane disappearance illusion was first performed at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 1983. It has since been performed at various other venues around the world.

Is the plane disappearance illusion still being performed?

Yes, the plane disappearance illusion is still being performed by David Copperfield. It is one of his most popular illusions, and it is always a crowd-pleaser.

David Copperfield’s vanishing plane illusion is a feat of magic that has baffled and amazed audiences for decades. The illusion is based on a combination of clever engineering, misdirection, and illusion. While the exact details of how the illusion is performed are still a closely guarded secret, it is clear that Copperfield is a master of his craft and has created one of the most iconic magic tricks of all time.

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Dale Richard
Dale Richard
Dale, in his mid-thirties, embodies the spirit of adventure and the love for the great outdoors. With a background in environmental science and a heart that beats for exploring the unexplored, Dale has hiked through the lush trails of the Appalachian Mountains, camped under the starlit skies of the Mojave Desert, and kayaked through the serene waters of the Great Lakes.

His adventures are not just about conquering new terrains but also about embracing the ethos of sustainable and responsible travel. Dale’s experiences, from navigating through dense forests to scaling remote peaks, bring a rich tapestry of stories, insights, and practical tips to our blog.