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Old Mar 15, 2006, 10:23 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Aug 2004
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Night flying - how much fun is it really?

So I'm cruising the web last night looking for a night setup for my Rex. Figure a nice set of night blades and a couple of "light cables" and controller would really do the trick. It does get a little pricey though, and I didn't pull the trigger last night. I thought about it for awhile and wondered if I'd spend all the cash, take the time to set it all up, go out a couple of times and say "cooool!", maybe take some nice pictures and video of it at night and then get bored of it.

So for those of you with full night setups on Rexes or similar, what's it really like? Do you fly them on a regular basis or is it just a novelty? With a decent setup what kind of flying can you actually do? Is it just a gimmick that is less cool every time you fly it?
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 11:13 PM
It's Prime Time for Slime Time
b7gwap's Avatar
Joined May 2004
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um. My cousin put lights on his slow stick. It was cool for about thirty seconds until you couldn't see which way it was going. Then it started to suck. I imagine a heli would be 100 times harder to see at night even it had halogen spots on it. JMHO
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 11:18 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Aug 2004
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That's kinda what I thought - although the setup I was looking at wouldn't just be lights - they were very nice carbon blades with lights on the tips, and different colour lights on the top and bottom (so you could tell which part of the disk you were looking at) and then I was gonna get two light "wires" that are basically glowing cables. I figured with one of thehttp://www.rcgroups.com/forums/editpost.php?do=editpost&p=5188780m I could pretty much trace the entire outline of the TRex canopy and the other would wrap around the boom - so you'd pretty much have a glowing heli-shape.

I'm less worried about not being able to see it than I am about the novelty wearing off and the gear sitting in my flight box unused

I was looking at the "Micro Helicopter Super Bright Night Blades" halfway down this page: http://helihobby.com/html/main_rotor_blades.html

and then the "Color Bright Light" strings halfway down this page: http://helihobby.com/html/extras.html
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Old Mar 15, 2006, 11:41 PM
That tree again!!!!
thanhTran's Avatar
Germantown, MD, US
Joined Sep 2004
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a few months ago, when it's dark at 4:30pm, the only way I could fly is night flying. I flew it everyday. So it's for the fun and the addict of flying really. Without that, I couldn't fly for months in winter. My schedule doens't allow me to fly during the day. Late afternoon or evening is the only choice. Also, sometimes, I could fly at 2:00am in a local park. Problelm with it is we can't fly very far.

http://tjtrc.com/videos/NightHeli.wmv

thanh
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 02:25 AM
Registered User
Queenstown, New Zealand
Joined Apr 2005
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Anyone know the link for some guys website who does night time firework displays from his heli for partys and other events? It was quite an impressive website with some pretty cool pictures on it as I recall. I think he even included 3D flying manoveurs with his show. That would be some pretty enjoyable nightflying
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 04:07 AM
Mad Heli Scientist
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Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Joined Jun 2004
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http://www.mikescolesheli.com/

I might nightlight my Trex soon as its starting to get dark earlier here

Night flying with a properly lit-up heli is far easier than in the day as you can see the orientation of the heli a lot better. And there is usually less wind at night

Shannon.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 10:14 AM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigS
And there is usually less wind at night


That is a very good point!
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 10:52 AM
Vampyre Inc
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Rochester, New York
Joined Nov 2004
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Not sure how much fun night flying would be, I know most of the people around here that were into night flying have stopped as it was more of a novelity then anything else.

I was going to get a night setup, but after thinking it through I decided against it.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 01:11 PM
Brett
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So Cal
Joined Apr 2002
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I tend to fly my heli at night for the same reason I ride mountain bike at night...there's not enough time during daylight hours to do it if I want to fly (or ride) during the week. If I didn't have to fly or ride at night out of neccessity, I probably wouldn't have spent the money on lights, though.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 01:45 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Aug 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjaffee
If I didn't have to fly or ride at night out of neccessity, I probably wouldn't have spent the money on lights, though.

Oh now I have to disagree about night riding! With a decent set of dual headlamps, and some fast, twisty single-track through a forest... some of the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike. And it's nice to beat the heat in the middle of the summer too.

Anyway, back OT, I think my suspicions about night flying helis have been confirmed. We're about to hit daylight savings time here and we'll have light to fly until 9pm, so no need. Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 02:54 PM
-Flight enthusiast_
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Lake Louise, AB, Canada
Joined Feb 2000
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HI Neil,

I LOVE night flying on my LOGO 10 and 20 and want to get a setup for my MaxiR. Because I really don't have a decent place to fly anymore, I usually just night fly at fun fly's. It takes me about a hour to carefull install the stuff, but I'm sure a guy could do it in 10 minutes, judging by how I've seen the "big boys'" installations in some videos - wrap 'er up and give 'er It's fun to put on a show for folks and it's very entertaining to watch. The downside is that one cannot pour oneself a nice drink until a WAY later than anyone else
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 03:14 PM
Mad Heli Scientist
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Rangiora, Canterbury, New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Joined Jun 2004
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I usually dont spend too much on my night setups, I use LED's with a piece of silicon fuel tube over them and jam them in the ends of straws. I just run about 5 or so of these in different colours and places on the heli, add some canopy lighting and night blades, fly by night

Shannon.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 03:24 PM
kids ate my heli budget
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Auckland, New Zealand
Joined Feb 2005
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Seems to me that flying at night is better than not flying at all, but I attended a night flying display at our national event a couple of months back, or at least the beginning of it - it's really pretty boring.

No one flies any hard 3D at night (that I have seen) because they can't really see the horizon or potential obstacles, so it's kept pretty low-key.
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 04:48 PM
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Lake Louise, AB, Canada
Joined Feb 2000
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Well, some folks just aren't easily satisfied, I guess. I'm no 3-D expert and could care less if a spectator happens to feel that my flying isn't up to their "standards". At least no more than during the day To each his own. I once attended a full size fly-in and entertained the drunks at the campfire, a familiar role I really enjoy hearing the awe-inspired comments from children and other "heli-unsophisticated" folks who really enjoy it. It's the one time I feel that I really am entertaining folks with my flying. Against a black star-lit sky it looks like a spaceship and is awe-inspiring to me, even after having done it for a few years. My night flying is just the usual loops, rolls, flips, inverted hover (have gotten low enough to light the grass, hehe) and it's not necessary to go any higher when there's no obstacles. If I am a little more conservatve, it's because of fatigue from a long day at the field. The neat thing about night flight is that in some respects it's a lot easier to fly at night because there's no glare or background issues. BTW the videos I've seen of the "pro's" doing night flight show maneuvers that I could only dream of doing in the daylight

And since I cannot afford a disaster, I do take an hour to securely install the inverter, wrap and secure the light rope (tape is used at the fins and end), crack and tape the glowsticks to the skids, install the blades and tweak a link to get tracking on the light blades correct (if previously determined to be required). But I'm often chatting while doing it. I would like to do something similar for my MaxiR using a finer light rope. I'm doing a review on an MX400 Pro and if it can carry more weight I'll try it instead. But with either heli, I could do it without driving for a few hours to get to a suitable location and I would night-fly a lot more. Here's what my LOGO 10 looks like:

Cheers!

Glen
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Old Mar 16, 2006, 05:09 PM
ok, maybe it is a toy
rob mueller's Avatar
Alberta, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
1,488 Posts
Hey Glen.

I think the MX 400 might be a better machine to light than the Maxir just because the greater size. But having said that, I know if you decide to light the Maxir, she will look great!

I fondly remember that evening in Hinton at the Full Scale Fly-in. Absolutely, people were amazed. You and your Logo 20 "Controlled Fireworks".
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