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Old Jul 10, 2013, 12:49 PM
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using reflective tape on wings?

When flying late afternoons I tend to become disoriented, so I went to ®Michaels (yes, I know it's a "girly" store, but I've utilized it many times for rc, bowery, and even BLACK POWDER handguns!)

Anyway, I got me some very blingy reflective tape for my wings' leading edge. I ran it all the way across, except for the last panel (where it starts to bend too sharp).

It's like a "diamond studded" pattern that sparkles in spectrum colors. Hadn't had a chance to fly with it yet.

Will this have a negative effect on the foil radius? I know these foils are highly engineered, with very small changes making big differences.


**** the tape is 19mm wide x .10 mm thick, and centered on tip of leading edge (equal amounts showing on top and bottom) ******
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Last edited by Triggerhappy; Jul 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM. Reason: speling.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Trigger:

I'm sure you will do just fine. Lots of guys put that on their wings.

Yours, Greg
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Thanx 'mange,

You caught me before I could edit the post for speling.

As much as I've read about how important the leading edge is to the performance of the wing, I think it may actually help!
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 03:15 PM
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you don't need to wrap around the just above the centre line onto the top surface....if you can see the bottom part reflecting back at you - you are in trouble!!!

I use two colours - red on the left and silver on the right. - the tape I use is ridiculously thin and light.....

I find on sunny days - when you are in a boomer miles up and away - a flash of red or white can give you an idea of where you are........it has helped me a few times when I have been almost out of eyesight and lost the glider in turns.....
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 03:16 PM
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also - you only need a strip about 6" long.......its easy to see
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 03:41 PM
a.k.a. Bob Parks
Glendale, AZ
Joined Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrbaby View Post
y. - the tape I use is ridiculously thin and light..........
What tape is it?

BP
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 03:49 PM
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Hi Bob, I live in New Zealand so not sure if you can get it there - its from a big box store - its not branded.... I just stumbled across it in an art isle....
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 05:11 PM
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[QUOTE=gtrbaby;25535719]you don't need to wrap around the just above the centre line onto the top surface....if you can see the bottom part reflecting back at you - you are in trouble!!!....[/QUOTE



Maybe I misunderstood or something. The bottom part of the wing us what you'll see, right?

And you're saying to stop the tape at just above the center of the le, correct ?
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 05:24 PM
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[QUOTE=Triggerhappy;25536731]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrbaby View Post
you don't need to wrap around the just above the centre line onto the top surface....if you can see the bottom part reflecting back at you - you are in trouble!!!....[/QUOTE



Maybe I misunderstood or something. The bottom part of the wing us what you'll see, right?

And you're saying to stop the tape at just above the center of the le, correct ?
the bottom of the wing....as in the underside of the glider. if you are flying up the right way (which you should be) the bottom surfaces are shaded so wont reflect. the tape goes on the TOP of the wing - from the centreline up.

I only see its use when

you are miles away in a thermal and turning....gives you a visual clue

you are coming home from downwind
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 06:09 PM
a.k.a Frank Campbell
Long Beach, CA, USA
Joined Jan 2007
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Definitely on the top.

When the model is at 30 degrees to the horizon or lower you cant see the bottom. What you want is a flash from the top as it's turning. this will give you a visual clue to orientation.

My DLG has neon orange paint on the top surface at the tips. Really shows strongly when it's out and low and in a turn, you get a flash as it rotates.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 06:48 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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I only like an inch or two... more is not better. Top surface near the tips. When you circle, it will give a brief "flash flash" at altitude. Definitely a good thing I carried over from my XC days.

Most of my DLGs don't have flashy tape though. I tend to not get them that far out.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 08:37 PM
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GTR, VINTAGE, TOM,

Thanx guys, you are so right! Duuuh!

I was thinking, well the plane is "up there", so I will see the bottom.....but I get that the sun won't hit the tape there, and even up high I'll most likely be out quite a but also. I guess I was assuming straight overhead.

The Taboo had a strip of reflective tape at the wing LE, and it came in handy the two or three times I managed to speck it out.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 09:05 PM
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Years ago, I tested all the reflective tapes I could find, including the holographic types that the sailplane accessory companies were selling, on my TD ships in an effort to find the one that gave the best results. I got the best reflections from Chrome Trim Monokote. It's also one of the thinnest tapes I tested. The holographic tapes were very thick.

On my DLGs I use pieces about 10mm wide and 150mm long wrapped around the leading edge near the tips. On a sunny day the flashes are very bright and I've had people ask me if I had strobe lights on my planes. Many times I have lost sight of my plane and was only able to locate it by the flashes.

Buddy
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 09:33 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
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Buddy, I agree that straight chrome monokote trim is the best. We had an XC airplane at the Great Race many years ago that went missing for upwards of 5 minutes. It was stupid high and our driver took a wrong turn while we were cutting a corner at the limits of visibility. I trimmed the airplane in to a circle, we estimated where it should be and drove there... and four of us got out of the truck and started looking around the sky. After an uncomfortably long time, my spotter picked up a flash and pointed it out to me and we all jumped in the truck and continued. I always put it on stuff I'll be flying high and far now.
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Old Jul 10, 2013, 09:38 PM
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I like a bit on the rudder as well. Helps when circling against background.

Gary
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