harrystanhope
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 4:21 am

Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:31 pm

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  
 
AvSafety46
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:03 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:32 pm

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.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11177
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:51 pm

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?
 
Spacepope
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:58 am

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.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
harrystanhope
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 4:21 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:51 am

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 avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:59 pm

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 avatar
Scooter01
Posts: 1187
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:48 am

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   
There is always a good reason to watch airplanes
 
dragon6172
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:56 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:42 pm

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
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5712
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:11 am

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 avatar
Scooter01
Posts: 1187
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:38 am

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
There is always a good reason to watch airplanes
 
User avatar
135mech
Posts: 410
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:56 pm

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:01 pm

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
135Mech
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Green Stripes On AUS Military Aircraft

Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:52 pm

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.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos