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Sep 26, 2012, 06:54 PM
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NorCal Hobbies's Avatar
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Discussion

Visibility of Color at Altitude


Hey! Thought I would see if there are some recommendations as far as colors for sailplanes at altitude. I have a Topmodels Prelude in transparent Blue and Yellow. I can see this pretty well in different conditions but some say they can't see it as well. I was wondering if there are colors that show well in varying conditions at high altitudes as I fly ALES and have been pretty much specked out. I am looking to pick up a Pulsar soon and want the manufacturer to cover it in custom colors. Was looking for suggestions. Thanks!

Figure we could actually start a discussion on the subject.
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Sep 26, 2012, 09:04 PM
Fly It Like You Stole It !!
Paulbilbo91z9f's Avatar

Good Question


This is a good one. I'll be interested to see what different people write here.

My favorite is White or Red for the fuse. and Red for the wings with large white stripes on the bottom sides. (Really BIG white stripes.) This has served me well as a color combo. for some time

My Aspire has these colors and I had my personal highest flight this summer, topping out at 2,796 feet with it. To be honest, at that distance, it was all just one color. A grey dart in the sky. My Elipsoid is also this color setup; Transparent Red wings with white fuse and I've had that to 2,000 feet any number of times. My Pegasus for ALES is also White w/Red wings.

Colors showing up at distance on a sailplane also has a lot to do with the type of sunglasses you might be wearing. Mine are polarized and work well with the colors I've chosen. If you wear sunglasses, as most of us do, the tint has a lot to do with how different colors show up for you. If your glasses are tinted blue, yellow or are UV blocking, then diffrent colors are "Filtered Out" of the light spectrum your eye is seeing. I've been standing on the flight line and could see a fellow pilots plane perfectly not too far away and yet he couldn't see it for . Test you glasses with different colors. It matters.......

Murph
Sep 26, 2012, 11:49 PM
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NorCal Hobbies's Avatar
Thread OP
I have oakley Polarized in dark grey. Work very well. I see everyone's planes pretty well. Some better then others. Mine seems to show up good. I would love to get an idea of what people prefer more or less and why.
Sep 27, 2012, 01:21 PM
Healthy suntan is an oxymoron.
Miami Mike's Avatar
I have brown polarized prescription sunglasses that seem to work well with my red sailplane. I also added fluorescent orange-red stripes to the bottom of the wing. The bottom stripes help somewhat, but at high altitude the plane is still just a dark silhouette unless it's in a position where sunlight hits the bottom.



The planes that Joe Wurts flew in the World Soaring Masters had wings that were fully covered with fluorescent orange-red, pretty much the same color as the stripes on the bottom of my plane, but in both cases the fluorescent color doesn't show up in a photograph. I'm not sure, but I suspect that he was wearing brown sunglasses too.



Although I went for polarized sunglasses for flying, I'm a bit skeptical that polarization actually helps. It's supposed to filter out reflected light, such as light reflected from water surfaces, but I don't see how that can apply to seeing a model plane in the sky.
Latest blog entry: OpenTX: Circling the Square
Sep 27, 2012, 01:55 PM
It's gonna be YUGE!!!
LVsoaring's Avatar
There is a great deal of variation among humans, what may be best for me might not be for you. So, having said that, trial and error may be your best bet. At long distances, the ability to discern colors goes away, so you're pretty much gonna be seeing a dark silhouette against a med to light blue sky.... or clouds, or whatever.

I have found that for me personally, dark purple is best. I have a color and relative B&W chart at home, and will post it later. It depicts what a given color will look like in grayscale as if seen at a distance.
Sep 27, 2012, 02:06 PM
Master of the Wind
G Norsworthy's Avatar
For transparent I like red or orange. Opaque for me nothing beats white on top and black on bottom and I have tried a lot of different ideas. For Dlg I need to distinguish the plane rather than go for ultimate distance so pick something unique
Sep 27, 2012, 06:31 PM
It's gonna be YUGE!!!
LVsoaring's Avatar
As promised......
Sep 27, 2012, 06:39 PM
Will fly for food
davidjensen's Avatar
Florescent hot pink is the most visable color. The question is are you man enough to paint it that?
Sep 27, 2012, 06:40 PM
More Pile-it than Pilot
mdennis's Avatar
Sounds weird, but transparent white is really great. The light shines through and hits the bottom surface. It looks like there is a light inside the wing and it really stands out against just about any color sky or cloud. Most of the new Ava's come with at least one panel and the tail covered with it.
Sep 27, 2012, 06:51 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
This was discussed at length earlier this year. Search on sunglasses, believe in the F3X forum. Colors and sunglasses are so personal. No one version of the combination is right for everybody. I can't see red, look for my thread "Changing Colors". At amazingly short distances against a blue sky it disappears. Does that mean I should throw out my amber non-polarized sunglasses?

I've never found polarized sunglasses to work well for flying RC models for me. When flying my models at long distances some times the only way I have keep sight of the model was the flash of reflected light as it circles. What is that reflected light, but GLARE. Just what polarization is designed to reduce or eliminate! You, need to decide for yourself what works for you.
Sep 27, 2012, 06:55 PM
Registered User
For me, the glider (not sailplane, my ego is too small) tends to be a dark silhouette. So I like black, though I find dark red nearly as visible. There may be some conditions where a white patch may help. Suggest making any such markings at least as wide as the chord is long. (i.e. square or wider). Narrow stuff blends together. I find white tops very hard to see, but at least they don't turn the epoxy to mush with heat. (Depends on what kind of epoxy, of course.)

I had an Ava which was entirely transparent red. Fairly easy to see.

A white bottomed wing against clouds, with snow covered ground reflecting up, is very hard to see.

I dislike polarized sunglasses, but it's hard to find ones that aren't. Usually they are cheaper, however.
Sep 28, 2012, 05:18 AM
Fly It Like You Stole It !!
Paulbilbo91z9f's Avatar
My singlasses are Brown tint. That seems to work with the Red - White Combo for me.... Transparent and Solid Colors.
Sep 28, 2012, 07:59 AM
LSF303-AMA Fellow
tkallev's Avatar
Really, this again?

Everyone's eyes are different, choose the colors that YOU SEE BEST. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
Sep 28, 2012, 08:11 AM
Registered User
GliderJim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulbilbo91z9f
My singlasses are Brown tint. That seems to work with the Red - White Combo for me.... Transparent and Solid Colors.
Singlasses. Sound's like something you'd wear on a Saturday night out on the town.


Jim
Last edited by GliderJim; Sep 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM. Reason: spelling
Sep 28, 2012, 08:45 AM
Healthy suntan is an oxymoron.
Miami Mike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkallev
Everyone's eyes are different, choose the colors that YOU SEE BEST. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
I've noticed that rule also applies to which women are beautiful and which aren't.
Latest blog entry: OpenTX: Circling the Square


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