Visibility ? See and be seen ?

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Pilot-34

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Any advice or insight as to increasing aircraft visibility ? Particularly from directly head on and directly behind?
 

N804RV

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The new LED lighting options for EAB are extremely "visible". I have Baja Squadron Pro LED lights in each wing with Wig-Wag. And, I have AeroLED Pulsar NSP on the wingtips. Although I'm not flying the 8 yet, there are others in my area with the same setup, and there's no problem seeing them. My friend always repeats the story of how he shot an ILS in actual IMC and the tower controller told him he had more lights showing than a 747.
 

Protech Racing

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Red wing tips. My UL plane was all white and invisible from above. Red tops on the wings improved it considerably.
I was doing round about s , riding on a 150s quarter , as the 150 did 4 mile diameter rounds, I did 2 mile turns, a little above the 150 . The white 150 disappeared as I looked for it.
I realized that my plane did the same and promptly added some color .
 

Twodeaddogs

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Strobes, top and bottom. Nav light are essentially invisible beyond a few hundred yards in daylight. Don't paint the aircraft white or grey as they will be invisible against any kind of cloud background. The RAF in the UK found that black was the best colour for conspicuity for it's trainer jets.
 

cluttonfred

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There was a study on aircraft visibility done in New Zealand years ago with small military piston trainers. IIRC, they tried white, black, yellow, and orange and each one had advantages in different conditions: looking up against a blue or overcast sky, looking down against an earth or forest or water background, etc. I think in the end they chose yellow but painted the movable control surfaces black to make it more interesting. Something like that, or maybe white with bright orange control surfaces and cowling, certainly couldn’t hurt.

CF5BF98E-BA09-4939-B2E7-F6C3DC64BA27.jpeg 7028C03E-3FDA-48AF-9BE2-B25673DAE04B.jpeg
 
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Mad MAC

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There was a study on aircraft visibility done in New Zealand years ago with small military piston trainers. IIRC, they tried white, black, yellow, and orange and each one had advantages in different conditions: looking up against an overcast sky, looking down against an earth or forest or water background, etc. I think in the endnote they chose yellow but painted the movable control surfaces black to make it more interesting. Something like that, or maybe white with bright orange control surfaces and cowling, certainly couldn’t hurt.
I seem to recall they found that black worked better than yellow except when they had very dark / black clouds behind the aircraft in the circuit at which point it was effect camouflage. So they concluded yellow was the better around colour.
 

cluttonfred

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Pilot-34

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What about structural ? Is there any evidence large droop tips or winglets effect effect visibility? What about contrasting colors on struts ,tails etc.
Is there anything that can be done in the critical head on sight picture with out drastically increasing drag ?
I’m kind of thinking of an alternate black and yellow 1 foot squares pattern on the leading edges of the wings if extended it would of course give you way overall checkerboard pattern on the upper wing services I’m kind of thinking of an alternate black and yellow 1 foot squares pattern on the leading edges of the wings if extended it would of course give you a overall checkerboard pattern on the wing Surfaces .

Are any of you taking proactive steps ?
 

Dana

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A friend got sails for his Quicksilver GT500 in dayglo orange with light green trim stripes. Even in low light it was very visible.

1609111131492.png
 

Toobuilder

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My LED landing lights are far brighter than "certified" Xenon strobes, especially from head on. I run them at all times in flight as an additional means of anti collision. Even in daylight they can be seen for miles away. We use them to assist in rejoins during formation flights, and even with 400 knot head on closure they generally provide plenty of heads up.
 

cblink.007

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What about structural ? Is there any evidence large droop tips or winglets effect effect visibility? What about contrasting colors on struts ,tails etc.
Is there anything that can be done in the critical head on sight picture with out drastically increasing drag ?
I’m kind of thinking of an alternate black and yellow 1 foot squares pattern on the leading edges of the wings if extended it would of course give you way overall checkerboard pattern on the upper wing services I’m kind of thinking of an alternate black and yellow 1 foot squares pattern on the leading edges of the wings if extended it would of course give you a overall checkerboard pattern on the wing Surfaces .

Are any of you taking proactive steps ?
Study this thing called "Human Factors in Aviation"...namely a thing called Design Eye Point if you are worried about ground visibility.

With respect to visibility being blocked by the wings, I've never had an issue in 25 years of flying. Remember, aircraft design is function first, followed by form...and it is a constant struggle between the two on the journey to design completion.

With respect to seeing another aircraft head on, it won't matter what kind of wingtips or leading edge color configuration it has or whatever, because it will be too late, and you are about to have a really bad day.

Keep your head on a svivel and stay ahead of the aircraft, and you should be okay! You will pick this up as you learn!!
 

Riggerrob

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Back during World War 2, the Royal Canadian Air Force painted all their trainers bright yellow, one notch closer to gold that than Piper Cub yellow.
Target towing airplanes were painted the same yellow with black diagonal stripes.
During the 1960s, RCAF trainers (CT-133 and Canadair Tutor) had bare aluminum skins with red or day-glow orange noses, tails and wing tips.
Currently, RCAF contract BAE Hawks are painted black to provide the maximum contrast with snowy backgrounds.
The key is CONTRASTING with your background ... the opposite of Yehudi lights or North Atlantic patrol bombers painted white.
The best way to contrast is with a bewildering array of flashing lights.
 
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Tiger Tim

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I for one wish that gliders flying in busy airspace would skin their vertical fins with reflective aluminized Mylar. It can give a sort of slow strobe effect when they’re circling in a thermal and weighs practically nothing.
 

don january

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If a practical option is sought maybe a smoke system with color choice or how about a marking system like spray planes use at the end of the field that shoots out toilet paper on a timer? Of course I haven't seen florescent orange TP. Very great question OP presented
 

Daleandee

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I use wig-wags as seen in this short video (see them on landing at 2:30):


Here is the how and why of my install:

 

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