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Old Aug 15, 2006, 04:27 PM
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ScubaDiver's Avatar
Temecula, California
Joined Sep 2005
280 Posts
Idea
Lighting your wing

I was curious on the various methods of lighting people have used for night flying with their wings. I'm looking to light up one of my wings and would like to see pics of how people have done it.

With the wings, it seems hard to place lights in a distinctive pattern to help with orientation, unless you use the glow wire which I would rather not use. I like the look of the scale type lighting systems.

I have seen many lighting systems. I particularly like the Flight Lite system.

I was thinking of drilling holes at various points on the wing and placing the lights in the holes so it could be seen from top and bottom, but then you get back to orientation isssue, which is top and which is bottom?

Post pics please.

Thanks
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 10:47 PM
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Joined Aug 2006
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well i don't have a wing, but i think with a little electronics experience, piggybacking a small circuit with LEDs would be a good option? i think full sized aircraft have green lights on the left, red lights on the right, and a white light on the tail? you should be able to tell from the orientation and whether the wing is coming towards you or away whether it is upside down or otherwise.

another good idea, is those plastic glow in the dark stars you can get from supermarkets. attach a whole bunch of them to the bottom of ur wing with doublesided tape, and just shine the torch at them for a while before you launch.

you might be able to get glow in the dark tape as well.
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Old Aug 16, 2006, 02:42 PM
Sussex, UK
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Crawley, West Sussex, UK
Joined Jun 2004
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I don't think the glow-in-the-dark stuff is bright enough.

It is important to be able to tell the top from the bottom, but I'd say you need a lot more than 'scale' type lights once it starts to get properly dark.

I tried a few LEDs and it wasn't really enough - it took too long for me to work out and often you could only see one or two lights, which isn't enough unless it's a really stable plane.

If you use LEDS, you need enough to outline the plane - of bury them in the foam so the whole thing lights up (and add some more for top/bottom identification). It also helps to mount the LEDs to shine on large areas, rather than just have pin pricks of light.

I now use glowire, and it's great. I've got a line along the LE and round the fins, and a different colour on the bottom. It's just as bright and much easier to orientate (and fit)
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Old Aug 16, 2006, 11:53 PM
Highlands Ranch, CO
Joined Aug 2006
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Red on the left and green on the right.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 03:11 AM
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Cape Town, South Africa
Joined Jan 2003
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Don't go for flashing, it makes everything VERY confusing
Wings are too unstable/react too fast to use the same type of lighting as full scale planes.

For some cool lighting ideas, check out http://www.mugi.co.uk
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 05:45 PM
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RobinBennett's Avatar
Crawley, West Sussex, UK
Joined Jun 2004
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I took some photos of my glowire this evening - I think I need to wobble the camera less because they are a bit blurred. Anyway, you can see that it's enough for orientation, even when you can't see anything except the wire.
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 09:22 PM
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Bristol, TN
Joined Apr 2005
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Glow wire ROCKS! Thats the stuff...

-Dave
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Old Aug 17, 2006, 10:15 PM
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Temecula, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinBennett
I took some photos of my glowire this evening - I think I need to wobble the camera less because they are a bit blurred. Anyway, you can see that it's enough for orientation, even when you can't see anything except the wire.

Nice. Do you have any links were to buy a setup like that?
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 01:35 PM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
Crawley, West Sussex, UK
Joined Jun 2004
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www.glowire.com
I bought the Small plane kit ($37.95) so I didn't have to worry about soldering the connections and because I was going to put in on a conventional plane - but in practice I like the robustness of a wing for night flying.

There are other places selling it too; I bought this about 6 months ago and chose glowire.com because they had the most mentions in the various discussions.
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:09 PM
ImNotAPilotIJustPlay1onTV
Reno, NV
Joined Feb 2003
781 Posts
Question to people who have already done glowire: Does it help to use 2 different colors on different sides (ie left and right, or leading edge, trailing edge)?

I am thinking of doing 2 colors: one for the leading, and one for the trailing
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Old Aug 18, 2006, 02:49 PM
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America the ruling country
Joined Dec 2003
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That glow wire looks nice!


With superbright LEDS I can fly fine.
One in each wing tip just before the EPP winglet.
The LED shines through the top, bottom and side of the winglet.

One LED at the RX will work too but it works great with the side winglets.
This is on a thin EPP wing with no or clear covering that lets a led shine through the 'solid' surfaces.
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Old Aug 19, 2006, 08:19 AM
Sussex, UK
RobinBennett's Avatar
Crawley, West Sussex, UK
Joined Jun 2004
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Two different colours is a good idea - but I'm not sure if it's matters whether you put them on each side or top and bottom.

If you look at my first two photos you can clearly see which is the top and bottom, but if there was no pink wire, and the green wire was right on the LE so you could see it from the bottom, the two photos would look almost identical.

I don't think there's much point doing the leading and trailing edge in different colours, the shape of a wing makes it pretty clear where the front is.

Steve is right that thin or hollow EPP structures can be light up well by LEDs, which diffuse the light so the whole area glows.
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