reflective tape on F5B? - RC Groups
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Apr 13, 2003, 10:54 PM
bwaltz's Avatar

reflective tape on F5B?

I always use reflective tape on my sailplanes, but is it "kosher" to use on F5B? I had a few occurences today that I lost my S-11 as it was turning. It really makes your heart jump in your throat when you can't see it for a brief sec, going 100+ coming at you. Now, I am a red blooded, 31 year old, 20/20 male, so I know others should be having the same problem.

If so, where do you put it? leading edge, servo covers???


It doesn't help that the bottom of my plane is blue. Or maybe it is just going so fast, color would probably never matter. :-)
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Apr 13, 2003, 11:07 PM
Registered User
rcelectfly's Avatar

I have never seen reflective tape on an F5B aircraft. If you used it you might upset the airfoil shape.

If the bottom of the wing is all blue you should paint some stripes or circles of a contrasting color over a part of it.

Apr 14, 2003, 12:38 AM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
What's on the top of the wing? If you dare to try a spray can paint job on the tips or leading edge, flourescent orange will show up in any kind of sky (except the night sky). Other than that, you have to deal with the thin front profile of these sleek F5B planes. Reflective tape does work in sunny conditions but you need to be able to see it on cloudy days too.
Apr 14, 2003, 07:18 PM
bwaltz's Avatar
Originally posted by Troy
What's on the top of the wing?
My plane is blue on bottom with white racing stripes. It is white on top with fading blue on all tips. Thanks for the clarification. I figured it would affect flight performance.

It just get real small fast.
Apr 14, 2003, 11:21 PM
Caution:Makes sharp left turns
Troy's Avatar
Originally posted by bwaltz
My plane is blue on bottom with white racing stripes. It is white on top with fading blue on all tips.
I saw the pic in your other thread. No wonder why it diapears on you. Light and medium blues look great on the ground but the tone of those colors disapear up against the sky. You may want to add some bright yellow, it looks nice with blue
Last edited by Troy; Apr 14, 2003 at 11:23 PM.
Apr 15, 2003, 03:38 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
Troy kind of hinted at it. You need to be used to flying this type of model - don't fly it straight at you, for example. More importantly, know where your model is, and where it's going next. These models don't usually do anything you don't expect.
Some dark stripes on top would help, however (click on my www link, below, and go look at my Sirius)..
Apr 16, 2003, 11:22 AM
Registered User
Alan W's Avatar
I've got some of that very thin reflective tape on the leading edge of my Ariane V6. It was my first real "Go Fast" plane (5 years ago?) and i thought it would help....especially when the plane does the Houdini and disappears coming straight at you

.......It Doesn't Help and I haven't put it on another since. Its not so much that the tape doesn't relect - it does if the light is right - but it doesn't give you any orientation reference, so your heart still skips the same number of beats as if there were no tape. Sure....if you totally lose sight of it the tape might.....MIGHT get your attention but you're still going to freak

Always try to show the wing a bit. Try flying Arcs instead of lines with one wing tip slightly down. The plane gets small quickly when you put it in a position to show very little surface area

Hope this helps

Alan W
Last edited by Alan W; Apr 16, 2003 at 11:32 AM.
Apr 16, 2003, 02:22 PM
Registered User
96S14's Avatar
I would agree that the reflective tape does not help much. I have it on my Ariane V6 and it really doesn't do anything. I think the key is lots of fluorescent orange. It's the best colour out there. Visible on bright, sunny days as well as on dark overcast ones. I have fluorescent stripes on the top of my wing, with red bottoms. It's real easy to see, even when far away.

Here's a picture of the plane:

I don't have the reflective tape on it in the picture, but I will be replacing it with a strip of fluorescent orange on the leading edge. I have found that to be the best way to see the plane when it is coming right at me.

Hope that helps.


PS: I also know of a little B20-powered Stinger in our club that would guaranteed be toast today if it were not for the fact that it's bright fluorescent orange. Not knocking your flying skills, SoarNeck