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Oct 27, 2017, 12:19 PM
3D Flight's Avatar

Glow In The Dark Night Flying Plane

Hey Guys,

I'm new to night flying and I actually haven't ever tried. I imagine that you would really want to worry about keeping orientation of the plane; for example a flying wing may not work very well unless you use two different colors because keeping the orientation of a featureless plane would be near impossible.

One thing I have wanted to try is a 3D printed plane with glow in the dark filament; this would eliminate the need for LEDs and the filament is relatively the same price. I also don't think its ever been done before! One concern I have is keeping orientation of the plane at distance, but I printed one of my planes that I think has really good features to keep orientation . Below you can see a pic I have gotten of my first attempt at a 3D printed night flyer. Maybe I will try using different glow in the dark colors on each wing tip and split boom.

One positive is I have set the plane on the ground after fully charging it up and it seems that I can see it really well at around 40 yards (that's as large as my back yard is but I'm pretty sure I will be able to see it at a farther distance)

I have to reprint the plane, but I think I will try and post some images and maybe videos to share the success/failure story.

Please let me know your thoughts and any tips and tricks!
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Oct 31, 2017, 08:21 AM
Ft Lauderdale
Number_6's Avatar

Sounds like a fun building project.

I have seen people use glow in the dark
plastic string fiber but never bright enough
for good orientation.

Personally, I build and fly a lot of
night flyers and from my own
personal experience, I would have to
say use powered LEDs!

Being too bright at night is underrated, haha!

Here’s a few of my ‘bright’ homebuilt EPP flyers.

CrashTestHobby 36" Roswell Revisited (3 min 16 sec)

CrashTestHobby HERC PUSHER MID MOTOR Flying Wing with LEDs Dusk Fly (1 min 56 sec)

BTW...these two planes are a few years old and
still flying so I know bright works for me.

Oh....people always mention red and green wings....sorry,
but in my experience this is worst thing you can do.

Reasons... you always see the red and green and green
appears brighter and closer to the human eye.

Also if you get inverted...and spinning it is too difficult
to figure out what is going on and make corrections.

Now, I always use white headlights on ‘leading edge only.’
By only having white on front of plane, you know
exactly when it is heading toward you! This is extremely important
if you ever want to see your plane again! Sorry for
the ramble....just telling my experiences.

Anyway hope you try your project and it works for you.
If so....I will change my mind and do it your way....
and save myself weeks of soldering LEDs, LOL!

Last edited by Number_6; Nov 01, 2017 at 02:26 PM.
Nov 07, 2017, 03:26 PM
3D Flight's Avatar
Hey Number 6,

Thanks for the reply. A lot of really good considerations you mentioned.

My biggest concern was the brightness of the plane and whether I would be able to see it, I think because I will have a lot more surface area than glow in the dark plastic string that it should be a lot brighter. Guess we will have to see.

I was thinking that managing the LEDs would be a hassle for a couple different reasons and like you mentioned soldering takes a long time so I think that would be a really great improvement.

Haven't been able to get to printing and trying this out yet, but I will let you know if I do. Hopefully I can get some good video where you can actually see it. Feel like that would be hard since a camera doesn't really gather enough light when it's dark.

Nov 12, 2017, 07:06 PM
Ft Lauderdale
Number_6's Avatar

Sounds like fun...not your normal construction.

So, can you just take the spools of plastic out in the dark
to check brightness first? How long does it stay visible?

Be good to know before building a plane.....just saying...

Nov 25, 2017, 10:59 AM
3D Flight's Avatar
I had already built the plane in glow in the dark since I was building it anyway and the material costs relatively the same whether you do glow in the dark or not. It does stay visible for quite a while, definitely long enough for several flights. It does start to expend energy as soon as the sun goes down though. Might have to have to have a separate way to charge it up.

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