does color help you get spotted

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by keithstein, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Nov 18, 2005 #1

    keithstein

    keithstein

    keithstein

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    do people paint thier planes to be seen or is it just to impress the crouds at flyins. some checker patterns would seem to be a visibility issue but that is just a guess. if it is to be seen then what colors work and which don't.
    keith
     
  2. Nov 18, 2005 #2

    Craig

    Craig

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    Being spotted

    Keith,

    Early training planes were painted with yellow wings as an effort to help them be seen.

    But - at any distance, what you see is the movement, not the color, if they are at your altitude.

    My airplane is painted like a pre-WWII trainer - blue fuselage, yellow wing - the color is called orange-yellow, and it is quite visible. Being a darker color, it does show up a bit more than the more popular all white airplane - helpful, since I like to do airshows and attend fly-ins.

    In the past, many military planes had different colors to help a) differentiate quickly in combat b) help squadron mates find each other, and c) because it looked cool to do so.

    And in the D-Day invasion, most planes had "invasion stripes" painted on their wings - helped keep them from getting shot down by the good guys.

    So yes, color does help - but movement helps more. Your eye is more quickly attracted to anything that moves against the background.

    Good luck with your airplane.
     
  3. Nov 19, 2005 #3

    StRaNgEdAyS

    StRaNgEdAyS

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    The only exception to the movement theory is if the other aircraft is on an intercept course, then it's quite likely to just slowly get larger in the same spot with little discernable movement. This can be quite bad, because by the time you realise that, they are getting awfully big awfully quickly.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2005 #4

    Craig

    Craig

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    AMEN!

    Strangedays - I'll give a big AMEN to that statement!
     
  5. Nov 21, 2005 #5

    CriCriOz

    CriCriOz

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    The best aid to visibility i ahve seen so far are these

    Big Silver mirror finish stickers

    [​IMG]

    any movement will cause a refelction of light.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Nov 22, 2005 #6

    Rhino

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    And then again ...... a Da-Glo orange airplane is much easier to spot than an olive drab airplane if they go down in a forest. :gig:
     
  7. Nov 22, 2005 #7

    skeeter_ca

    skeeter_ca

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    From what i've been told and can see for myself is that a contrast to surroundings is the most important thing. If you want to be seen in the sky a darker color is better but if youwant to be spotted on the ground usually a lighter color is better. Depending of course what color the ground is( snow you would want a dark color and forest or brown ground you would want a lightcolor. The actual color is not as important. As distance is increased people stop seeing colors and see contrasting differences. I believe due to the fact that the color spectrum is filter out by the air as distance increases.

    Skeeter
     
  8. Mar 13, 2006 #8

    PatrickW

    PatrickW

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    Polished aluminum has got to be one of the most visible "colors" out there.

    I imagine it would me labor intensive.

    - Patrick
     
  9. Mar 14, 2006 #9

    Dieselfume

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    Well, there's some obvious ones to avoid for visibility sake... Like blue, or camo type colors for the reasons that they are the color of our surroundings... Hmmm, fire trucks are usually red or yellowish green... Hunters wear hunters orange... High vis vests are florescent yellow-green and/or orange with white reflective strips...

    R/C sailplanes often have a reflective strip on the leading edge. If you've ever been to an R/C sailplane competition, some of those planes get waaaay the heck out there, just a spec in the distance. Good to know if it's comin or goin if you want to keep the thing...

    Perhaps better than the color of the plane, put good anti-collision lighting (in particular Strobes) on your plane. I've also noticed the landing lights that alternate from left to right wing are quite effective.
     

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