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Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft  
User currently offlineHarryStanhope From Australia, joined May 2012, 21 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8685 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  

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAvSafety46 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8651 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.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15830 posts, RR: 27
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8609 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.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2980 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8581 times:

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


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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.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineHarryStanhope From Australia, joined May 2012, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8556 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 


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12178 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8347 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.


User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1213 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8263 times:
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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   



"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offlinedragon6172 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8127 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.



Phrogs Phorever
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8102 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.


User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1213 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8029 times:
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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



"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offline135mech From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 412 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 7344 times:
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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


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2410 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 7310 times:
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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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