The most notable thing about the latest monthly drone flyover of the Apple Campus II in Cupertino is what isn’t there: The majestic cranes of Silicon Valley have departed.
Only one large construction crane remains in place, and we can only assume that it too will soon hoist its last burden and fly the coop along with its cousins.
While the project is still months away from completion, it appears that the truly heavy lifting is finished—literally.
Also all but gone is the pile of excavated dirt once dubbed Mount Apple, now dispersed over the site to cover up underground facilities and help with rapidly evolving landscaping.
Curbed SF’s unofficial Apple drone guy Matthew Roberts showed up just after the weekend rains that left the Norman Foster-designed ring of the building shining and turned the rest of the site into a vividly muddy enterprise.
Roberts, a lifelong Bay Area resident who works at a South Bay payroll company, starting surveying the Apple site back in March.
He admits he was nowhere near the first, telling Curbed SF that watching other YouTube updates about the progress of the campus inspired him to buy a new drone and take a few passes himself.
Although his DJI Phantom 3 drone has a range of 2,000 feet, he says he’s not legally allowed to operate it outside of line of sight, so a panoramic recording of the building requires decamping to a number of different sites.
It usually takes Roberts two or three hours to get enough footage for a three or four minute video. His flyover channel has picked up a pretty respectable 10,000 subscribers in seven months.
What’s the seemingly endless appeal of watching this one building? “Having the Apple name attached to it probably makes a difference,” he says. “But really it’s that weird ring shape.”
You can see the product of his most recent outing in all its glory below.