BoeingOnFinal
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Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:05 am

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
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:13 am

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."
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:19 am

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!
 
fr8mech
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:25 am

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.
 
A319XFW
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:19 am

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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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:24 am

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."
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:42 am

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!
 
BritPilot777
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:01 am

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
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:06 pm

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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A319XFW
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:33 am

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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David L
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:50 am

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?
 
2enginesonly
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:23 am

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
 
David L
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:31 am

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

Ah bllx! I've got landing lights all mixed into that one - cheers!
 
2enginesonly
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:42 am

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
 
memphis
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:27 pm

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
 
BoeingOnFinal
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:30 pm

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
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:11 pm

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."
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Wed Apr 26, 2006 2:53 am

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!
 
474218
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:34 am

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]
 
fr8mech
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:03 am

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.
 
highflyer9790
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:56 am

Here are the FAA requirements for lighting systems...

http://www.whelen.com/aviation/catalog/Anit-Collision%20Systems.pdf
121
 
474218
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:24 am

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:57 pm

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
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
highflyer9790
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:39 am

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 © Craig Murray



enjoy!
highflyer
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corey07850
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:50 pm

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
 
onetogo
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:36 pm

What is the "storm" button?
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 6:21 pm

Quoting Onetogo (Reply 25):
What is the "storm" button?

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 switch them all on for you!
 
David L
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:20 pm

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 23):
some have "auto feature" (commonly airbus aircraft) that turn on during takeoff and off after landing.

Wheels on/wheels off?

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 24):
Quoting David L (Reply 10):
Beacon is also turned on right before engine start to alert people in the area

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 back into my box.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:08 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 27):
Wheels on/wheels off

Air-Grd Sense.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
2enginesonly
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:59 pm

Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 23):
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"

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: it's also called wing inspection light.

Arjan
 
onetogo
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon May 01, 2006 12:33 pm

Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 26):



Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 26):
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 switch them all on for you!

Thanks, but what is the point of such a function and why is it labeled "storm" instead of "all on" or something?
 
David L
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Mon May 01, 2006 9:35 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
Quoting David L (Reply 27):
Wheels on/wheels off

Air-Grd Sense.

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 Airbus they don't come on till the aircraft leaves the ground.
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue May 02, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting Onetogo (Reply 30):
Thanks, but what is the point of such a function and why is it labeled "storm" instead of "all on" or something?

not sure to be honest, maybe so you can dim all lights in one go so you can monitor a strom outside, at night?
 
fr8mech
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue May 02, 2006 1:14 am

Quoting Matt72033 (Reply 32):
not sure to be honest, maybe so you can dim all lights in one go so you can monitor a strom outside, at night?

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 later aircraft no call that switch the 'Light Override'.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue May 02, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 33):
Actually, you want all lights on in a storm, that way the flash from the lightning has a lower probability of blinding you.

fair enough  Wink
 
BoeingOnFinal
Topic Author
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue May 02, 2006 3:17 am

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? That can't be right?
norwegianpilot.blogspot.com
 
Matt72033
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Tue May 02, 2006 5:35 am

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 35):
One thing I don't understand is that both Strobes and Nav lights have a white flashing light? That can't be right?

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 steady white light at the tail! Big grin
 
MesaMXORD
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RE: Aircraft Lighting

Thu May 18, 2006 9:33 am

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 ground for MX)
Anti-Collision (Strobe)- Crossing/High Speed taxi/entering an active runway/ Entire flight (Never seen them shut off)
Landing- For T/O and Landing
Taxi/Recognition- As stated they are aimed different so you don't blind anyone when your driving around and can see where you will be going

These are all on the checklist the pilot has and goes through for Cleared for take-off, in range, etc.
MESA - fighting common sense one day at a time

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