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Topic: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: HarryStanhope
Posted 2012-10-02 14:31:38 and read 7373 times.

Hey

I'm from Townsville in Aus, I work as a ground handler for JQ and also a junior flying instructor at the local school.

A few times now whilst working at night I've noticed most of the military aircraft, such as C-17, F/A-18 and tankers, have green stripes along the surfaces. For example the rudder, overhead cargo doors etc.

What exactly are they for?

Is it used by ground handlers or anyone else? The stripes were visible on the F-18's that took off last night.

Look forward to hearing from everyone!

Thanks in advance  

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: AvSafety46
Posted 2012-10-02 15:32:48 and read 7339 times.

I believe those are the formation lights. They are used at night so other Military aircraft can discern the attitude of the aircraft when joining in flight and flying in formation. The green color is used so NVGs will not blackout to the brightness of the light and it is easier for the human eye to see green light and not lose their night vision.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-02 16:51:06 and read 7297 times.

Quoting AvSafety46 (Reply 1):
The green color is used so NVGs will not blackout to the brightness of the light and it is easier for the human eye to see green light and not lose their night vision.

Actually I thought red is the color best used to avoid losing night vision, hence why ships will "rig for red" at night. Green is used for NVGs because the eye is most sensitive to it.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: Spacepope
Posted 2012-10-02 17:58:20 and read 7269 times.

Kinda like the 3 bits on this F-14? On the tail, fuselafe above the word "navy"and on the nose?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Neil Jones - Angels-20



Those IIRC are formation lights- low voltage lights for night use, that are not readily visible from the ground when at altitude.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: HarryStanhope
Posted 2012-10-02 18:51:55 and read 7244 times.

Yes that looks like them! except they were a bit bigger, newer aircraft I guess.

Very insightful information everyone! Thanks so much for the responses

I'll be sure to put them on our Cessna's 

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: KC135TopBoom
Posted 2012-10-03 14:59:48 and read 7035 times.

Quoting AvSafety46 (Reply 1):
I believe those are the formation lights. They are used at night so other Military aircraft can discern the attitude of the aircraft when joining in flight and flying in formation. The green color is used so NVGs will not blackout to the brightness of the light
Quoting Spacepope (Reply 3):
Those IIRC are formation lights- low voltage lights for night use, that are not readily visible from the ground when at altitude.
Quoting HarryStanhope (Reply 4):
Yes that looks like them! except they were a bit bigger, newer aircraft I guess.

Yes, they are formation lighting. They are used on any airplane that does night formation work, and they are controled by a reostate on most airplanes, so the brightness can be adjusted. We did not have them on the KC-135 while I was flying her, but it was always planned to put them on. I don't know if it ever happened.

They are on the;

KC-10
KC-30/A-330MRTT
KC-767/KC-46
Some C-130/KC/EC-130
all US and most Allied fighter aircraft
C-17
The F/FB-111 had them (they also had to original amber colored formation lights but they were disconnected).
The A-310MRTT/KC-310 may have them, but I don't really know.

They are just thin strips of luminous material covered with fiberglass and not really lights or LEDs.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: Scooter01
Posted 2012-10-03 23:48:12 and read 6951 times.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
They are just thin strips of luminous material covered with fiberglass and not really lights or LEDs.
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
and they are controled by a reostate on most airplanes, so the brightness can be adjusted.




..and how is that supposed to work -or did I miss something?


Scooter01   

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: dragon6172
Posted 2012-10-04 16:42:57 and read 6815 times.

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 6):
..and how is that supposed to work -or did I miss something?
http://www.astronics.com/products/ai...ighting/formation-lights.asp#green

Link to the manufacturer with a quick description of the lights.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: rfields5421
Posted 2012-10-04 18:11:02 and read 6790 times.

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 6):
and how is that supposed to work -or did I miss something?

The key paragraph

Quote:
The EL phosphor provides for a solid state device that emits a uniform luminance over its entire surface. Since EL lamps have no filaments or bulbs they do not experience catastrophic failures and are the ideal light source to withstand the extreme shock and vibration common to the rugged environment of military aircraft.


I didn't know this technology existed.

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: Scooter01
Posted 2012-10-05 00:38:30 and read 6717 times.

Quoting dragon6172 (Reply 7):
Link to the manufacturer with a quick description of the lights.

Thanks!

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 8):
I didn't know this technology existed.

Neither did I -obviously.

(wondering why the emoticon in my previous post didn't work)

Scooter01

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-18 11:01:22 and read 6032 times.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
Yes, they are formation lighting. They are used on any airplane that does night formation work, and they are controled by a reostate on most airplanes, so the brightness can be adjusted. We did not have them on the KC-135 while I was flying her, but it was always planned to put them on. I don't know if it ever happened.

No, they have not put them on our birds, and probably never will with the KC-46 coming now. Would be pretty sweet looking though!  
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Actually I thought red is the color best used to avoid losing night vision, hence why ships will "rig for red" at night. Green is used for NVGs because the eye is most sensitive to it.

I would (safely) assume that with red being thought of as "warning" indicators, especially with most cockpit lights etc... that may be why they did not use red, since there are so many of the lights on each plane.

135Mech

Topic: RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft
Username: rwessel
Posted 2012-10-18 15:52:40 and read 5998 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 2):
Actually I thought red is the color best used to avoid losing night vision, hence why ships will "rig for red" at night. Green is used for NVGs because the eye is most sensitive to it.

While it's true that for exposure to a given intensity of light, red has the least effect on dark adaptation, the problem is that we're not particularly sensitive to red light, particularly in details, so your ability to read (for example) is significantly reduced under red lights. So people have a tendency to turn up the intensity of the red lights, which increases the negative impact on dark adaptation. The USN, for example, found that there's little benefit to red lights compared to white lightly, when the lights are adjusted for equal ease of *seeing*. So USN submarines switched from red lights to (dim) white lights many years ago, when conducting night operations on or near the surface where night vision might be important.


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