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Aircraft Lighting  
User currently offlineBoeingOnFinal From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 476 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3653 times:

Can anyone explain what the different lights are on an aircraft, beacon, strobes and so on, and where they are on the aircraft? Or a chart showing it maybe?
Both on large and small aircrafts.

And an additional question, what is the difference between a Single and Twin Aisle aircraft?

Thanks, and this is my first post btw, can't wait to be a part of the community here, I'm allready very fond of this place!

[Edited 2006-04-23 21:10:06]


norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3644 times:

Can't help you with the lights, but...

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Thread starter):
And an additional question, what is the difference between a Single and Twin Aisle aircraft?

Single aisle aircraft, also known as narrowbodies have a single passage (aisle) between seats for passengers to embark/disembark and so forth. Examples: A320, B737, 707, 757.

Twin aisle aircraft, also known as widebodies have two passages (aisles) between seats for passengers to embark/disembark and so forth. Examples: A300, 747, DC-10, A330.

[Edited 2006-04-23 21:25:55]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3638 times:

Nav lights are the green red and white lights on the starboard, port and tail respectively

beacons are the upper and lower red flashing lights on the fuse

Strobe lights are the white flashing lights on the wingtips, plus one on the tail

logo lights are usually on the upper surface of the horizontal stab, shining up at the fin, to light up the operators Logo

Landing lights are often mounted in the wing root, or rotate out from the fuse into the airflow.

taxi and runway turn off lights are normally located on the nose gear

wing icing lights are mounted on the side of the fuse lighting up the wing, these are used to show up any ice formations during flight, or weather slats and flaps have deployed as they should

think thats about all of them!


User currently offlineFr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5438 posts, RR: 14
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3632 times:

The beacon and the strobes are essentially the same. They are the red lights on the top and bottom of the fuselage and on the clear lights on the wingtips. They typically flash, though some oscilate.

The navigation lights are the red, green and white lights on the aircraft. Red on the left, green on the right. The white lights may be at the tail, but more commonly on newer aircraft they are on the trailing edge of the wing tip. They are a carry over from the marine world and aid in identifying what direction an aircraft in view may be traveling, i.e. if you see red and white, the aircraft may be moving from right to left. Red and green and he may be coming right at you.

You then have landing lights, taxi lights, wing illumination lights and runway turn-off lights.

Look at FAR 25.1381 - 25.1403 for some specifications.

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...browse/Title14/14cfr25_main_02.tpl

[Edited 2006-04-23 21:26:21]


When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3575 times:

Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 2):
Nav lights are the green red and white lights on the starboard, port and tail respectively

It's funny, I don't think anybody here on A.net has noticed that the current winglets (Designed by Airbus, built by Fokker) on the A320 MSN 1 don't have nav lights.. Big grin


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User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3570 times:

Quoting A319XFW (Reply 4):
It's funny, I don't think anybody here on A.net has noticed that the current winglets (Designed by Airbus, built by Fokker) on the A320 MSN 1 don't have nav lights

Don't you have to have them? Or is that requirement waived for experimentals?



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

Quoting A319XFW (Reply 4):
It's funny, I don't think anybody here on A.net has noticed that the current winglets (Designed by Airbus, built by Fokker) on the A320 MSN 1 don't have nav lights..

good spot!

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 5):
Don't you have to have them? Or is that requirement waived for experimentals?

not required for daytime ops!


User currently offlineBritPilot777 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1075 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

Quoting A319XFW (Reply 4):
t's funny, I don't think anybody here on A.net has noticed that the current winglets (Designed by Airbus, built by Fokker) on the A320 MSN 1 don't have nav lights.. Big grin

Ummmm its still there buddy, just between where the new winglet part is, and the wing, you can see the nav light there

BP777



Forever Flight
User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3456 times:

Quoting BritPilot777 (Reply 7):
Ummmm its still there buddy, just between where the new winglet part is, and the wing, you can see the nav light there

no its not, what you can see there is the gap between the winglet and the deployed slat!


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User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 6):
good spot!



Quoting BritPilot777 (Reply 7):
Ummmm its still there buddy, just between where the new winglet part is, and the wing, you can see the nav light there

I can't take credit for spotting it - I was told about it by 3 people independently who are working on the project even before the winglets were fitted Big grin

Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 2):
Landing lights are often mounted in the wing root, or rotate out from the fuse into the airflow.

That is one way of identifying an A320 as opposed to a 737 at night on landing - the A320 has got the under the wing, whereas the 737 has got it in the leading edge at the wing root.


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And what I didn't know is also a light in the belly fairing on a 737.


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Photo © Justin Idle



User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3385 times:

As I understand it, commonly:
  • beacons are switched on when the engines are running
  • strobes are on from the runway (or take-off clearance) till a certain altitude (e.g. 10,000 ft) and the same in reverse for descent
  • Nav lights are on when ground power or APU power is being used.

Any experts care to put me right?


User currently offline2enginesonly From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3379 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 10):
As I understand it, commonly:
beacons are switched on when the engines are running

strobes are on from the runway (or take-off clearance) till a certain altitude (e.g. 10,000 ft) and the same in reverse for descent

Nav lights are on when ground power or APU power is being used.

-Beacon, or anti-collision lights are switched on to tell people outside not to approach the aircraft because of movement ( enginestart, pushback, taxiing or take-off ) or that some sort of job is done like for instance a cabin pressurization test.

- strobes are switched on as soon the aircraft taxies onto the runway and will be switched off when it leaves the runway.....they will remain on the entire flight.

- nav lights are generally switched on when apu power is on on the ground and during flight. they're not always switched on during daytime however.

Arjan


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 41
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3376 times:

Quoting 2enginesonly (Reply 11):
strobes ... will remain on the entire flight.

Ah bllx! I've got landing lights all mixed into that one - cheers!


User currently offline2enginesonly From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3370 times:

Strobe lights are also called 'high intensity recognition lights' and are actually additional beacon lights.
During nighttime the range of the beaconlight isn't that far and the white strobes can be seen from a greater distance than the beaconlight.

Arjan


User currently offlineMemphis From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Isn't it a common practice to turn the strobes off while flying through extended and heavy layers of clouds? It is my understanding that this is done/allowed in order not to blind the pilots from flashing strobe. The strobes in this setting would seem to be more harmfull than helpfull.


nocturnal
User currently offlineBoeingOnFinal From Norway, joined Apr 2006, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3281 times:

Thanks alot for all your help guys, I learned alot

I also have noticed that there is a line with a ball at the end on the top of the tail fin (is that what the professional calls it? :p), is that to somehow see what the crosswinds are or how sideways the airplane is? How does this work?

[Edited 2006-04-25 13:30:20]

[Edited 2006-04-25 13:30:43]


norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3268 times:

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 15):
I also have noticed that there is a line with a ball at the end on the top of the tail fin (is that what the professional calls it? :p), is that to somehow see what the crosswinds are or how sideways the airplane is? How does this work?

This ball is testing equipment and only used during test flights to measure airflow.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMatt72033 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1617 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3228 times:

Quoting Memphis (Reply 14):
Isn't it a common practice to turn the strobes off while flying through extended and heavy layers of clouds? It is my understanding that this is done/allowed in order not to blind the pilots from flashing strobe. The strobes in this setting would seem to be more harmfull than helpfull.

on the 744 you can select the beacon switch to OFF, LOWER or UPPER, when flying through cloud this is selected to Lower, so the upper beacon will not reflect off the cloud and distract the pilot!


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 15):
also have noticed that there is a line with a ball at the end on the top of the tail fin (is that what the professional calls it? :p), is that to somehow see what the crosswinds are or how sideways the airplane is? How does this work?



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 16):
This ball is testing equipment and only used during test flights to measure airflow.

That "ball" is called a "Trailing Cone" and it is a piece of test equipment. Plastic tubing attached to the "cone" (its not a ball) and a cable to keep it attached are stored inside the cabin on a large spool and let out to "trail" behind the aircraft in still air, so the pitot static (airspeed) system can be calibrated. While the trailing cones are only used on certain flight test aircraft all the aircraft built should have provisions installed so the a trailing cone can be installed, just in case at sometime in the future they would require recalibration of the pitot static system.

See the following for more information on trailing cones:
http://www.spaceagecontrol.com/trailing-cone.htm

[Edited 2006-04-25 20:36:32]

[Edited 2006-04-25 20:37:20]

[Edited 2006-04-25 20:39:33]

User currently offlineFr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5438 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 18):
all the aircraft built should have provisions installed so the a trailing cone can be installed, just in case at sometime in the future they would require recalibration of the pitot static system.

I've been working transport category aircraft for almost 20 years and have never seen provisions installed for the trailing cone.

We do not calibrate a pitot/static system. We perform accuracy checks and leak checks. If the system leaks, we isolate and repair. If the system is inaccurate, we find the source of the inaccuracy and replace the component.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

Here are the FAA requirements for lighting systems...

http://www.whelen.com/aviation/catalog/Anit-Collision%20Systems.pdf



121
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 19):
I've been working transport category aircraft for almost 20 years and have never seen provisions installed for the trailing cone.

Check forward of the vertical stabilizer front spar. You may find ramps, pulleys or conduits at are used for the trailing cone. I never knew they were there either until we had to do some RVSM testing, years ago.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

Flight Compartment Lights:-
Used for Illumination of the Flight Deck,can be Incandesant or Tube light for Background & overhead.Or Integral panel lights.

Entry Area Lights:-
Near the Entry points from Ceiling or Treshold areas.

Lavatory Lights:-
Both Dim & Bright if used.[Door closed].

Cargo & Service Compartment Lights:- Illuminated if Switched on or Door open.

Main Deck Cargo Compartment lights [Freighters]:-
Illuminates the Main deck area from Ceiling.

Landing Lights:-
Used during Landing.

Runway Turnoff lights:-
Used during taxiing.Has an angle to the Aircraft centre line deflection to illuminate the Area the Aicraft would need to turn to.

Taxi Light:-
Mounted on the NLG mostly.Used for Taxiing ops.

Position & Navigation Lights:-
Wing & tail mounted.

Anti Collosion Lights:-
Red mounted over & under Aircraft.Flashing type.

Strobe Lights:-
White Flashing type,fitted on Wing & tail.

Logo Lights:-
Illuminates the Vertical stablizer displaying the Logo.

Emergency Lights:-
Illuminates the Escape slide area outside the Aircraft & Exit signs/Path inside the Aircraft.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2986 times:

Just thought i may add a little:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 22):
Landing Lights:-
Used during Landing.

they are also required for takeoff. They are required to be on at or below 10,000ft.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 22):
Position & Navigation Lights:-
Wing & tail mounted.

It common for some aircraft like the md-80/90/717/737/757/767/ to have two white light on the trailing edge wingtip instead of the tail due to the position of the APU

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 22):
Strobe Lights:-
White Flashing type,fitted on Wing & tail.

Again, some aircraft dont have a 3-point strobe system, and have one facing forward and one facing behind on the wingtip and not the tail, found on aircraft with the two reward faving nav lights. some have "auto feature" (commonly airbus aircraft) that turn on during takeoff and off after landing.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 22):
Taxi Light:-
Mounted on the NLG mostly.Used for Taxiing ops.

usually on whenever gear is down. some have taxi//TO modes

dont forget the icing light, (usually found on airbus aircraft) located on the side of the fusalage in front of the leading edge. it illuminates the leading edge at night usually in an area prone to icing, commonly on TO/descent. it is labled as "wing light"

Airbus aircraft tend to have more sophisticated lighting systems. here are some photos. you can see how there is a difference between airbus/boeing lighting controls.

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Photo © Rhys Dudley - TeamJetspotter



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Photo © Marcel Venema - DutchOps



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Photo © Craig Murray



enjoy!
highflyer



121
User currently offlineCorey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2966 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 10):

Beacon is also turned on right before engine start to alert people in the area

Quoting Memphis (Reply 14):
Isn't it a common practice to turn the strobes off while flying through extended and heavy layers of clouds? It is my understanding that this is done/allowed in order not to blind the pilots from flashing strobe. The strobes in this setting would seem to be more harmfull than helpfull.

Yes they are usually turned off during periods of clouds/fog, but I believe it is more to keep the pilots from becoming sick or disoriented from the lights rather than blinded by them... Interestingly, I've never been on a commercial flight where the pilot turned off the strobes


25 Onetogo : What is the "storm" button?
26 Matt72033 : it turns on all the lights on the flight deck, instead of individually switching all the dome lights and such on if you flick the storm switch it'll
27 David L : Wheels on/wheels off? That's really what I meant, rather than waiting for the engines to stabilise. But I messed up on the strobes so I'm crawling ba
28 HAWK21M : Air-Grd Sense. regds MEL
29 2enginesonly : This is not just limited to Airbus aircraft. All the aircraft I worked on had this feature: Boeing, McD, Fokker and yes indeed..Airbus. By the way: i
30 Onetogo : Thanks, but what is the point of such a function and why is it labeled "storm" instead of "all on" or something?
31 David L : That seemed the most obvious solution. So, generally speaking, on a Boeing the strobes are turned on when the aircraft enters the runway while on an
32 Matt72033 : not sure to be honest, maybe so you can dim all lights in one go so you can monitor a strom outside, at night?
33 Fr8mech : Actually, you want all lights on in a storm, that way the flash from the lightning has a lower probability of blinding you. As a note, I believe late
34 Post contains images Matt72033 : fair enough
35 BoeingOnFinal : Thanks for all your help guys, I've really learned alot. One thing I don't understand is that both Strobes and Nav lights have a white flashing light?
36 Post contains images Matt72033 : no.....strobe lights are white flashing lights.........one on each wing tip and one on the tail Nav lights are red and green on the wingtips and a st
37 MesaMXORD : Here is another run down of use; Nav-Power to the A/C Beacon- Starting Engines (Pressurizing, Turning on Hydraulics, actuating flight controls on the
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