usair330
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Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:14 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01w8Yb5uS4

With almost all new cars having L.e.d light strips somewhere on the front. Is it possible that one day we might be looking into the sky and see planes as in the video link? Has anyone ever done this on a real plane?

[Edited 2012-10-19 21:14:59]
 
iFlyLOTs
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:25 am

I feel like if every plane were like this it would be a safety hazard for the pilots, it could mess with their night vision.

EDIT: A plane like that would look awesome though if it was life sized

[Edited 2012-10-19 21:28:25]
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flightsimer
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:47 am

Quoting usair330 (Thread starter):

No, I don't think so. Those led lights are pretty much for show or for use as running lights, they are not the main lights at night, at least the ones I have seen are not.

Now, we will definitely see all new planes shift to using LEDs instead of the old type as they are cheaper and cleaner to use, but I highly doubt we will ever see a mass of lights on planes. It seems 2-7 properly placed lights are enough for most planes today.
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Cipango
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:26 am

I dont think Airlines want to add any more costs. The lights they have now have been doing the job for a long time. Why change?
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tjwgrr
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:46 am

The 787 has LED lights, as do many biz jets- just not quite like your example....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_aEVmTa5TQ
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Cipango
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:38 pm

Quoting tjwgrr (Reply 4):

The 787 has LED lights, as do many biz jets- just not quite like your example....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_aEV...Ta5TQ

I only see the standard set of lights on all aircrafts, not just the 787. Was I missing something?
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usair330
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:43 pm

Quoting tjwgrr (Reply 4):
The 787 has LED lights, as do many biz jets- just not quite like your example...

Good video. You can tell the lights are LED by the way they flash. Would it be legal for a pilot to try and put more lights on an aircraft?
 
ABQopsHP
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:21 pm

Keep in mind, most lights on an aircraft have a specific function. Red wingtip=Left(port) Green wingtip=Right(Starboard)
Red flashing lights on top=Anti-collison. Bright clear lights at wing root/wingtip=landing(approach)/taxi lights.
The strobe lights are intended for low visibility conditions, however if an a/c is IMC (flight in clouds) the strobes reflect back at the a/c so most crew members will turn them off once they are in a cloud deck. Its been a while since I had give observation about this, but I believe I got it right.


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DocLightning
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:29 pm

LED's make poor point sources of light. Yes, such LED's are manufactured, but they require large heat sinks. When dimmer LED's are spread out around an area, the heat accumulation is much less.

What I could see happening is strips of LED's replacing point-source fixtures. So instead of a single strobe on each wingtip, there might be a strip of flashing LED's that wrap around the wingtip. Then again, at altitude the air is pretty cold and the heat accumulation for an LED strobe would be much less than for a continuous light, so it's possible that we won't see this.
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usair330
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:00 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
So instead of a single strobe on each wingtip, there might be a strip of flashing LED's that wrap around the wingtip.

Exactly what I had in mind.
 
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:03 pm

Quoting cipango (Reply 3):

I dont think Airlines want to add any more costs. The lights they have now have been doing the job for a long time. Why change?

If LED lights were to be installed they would not have to be changed out as frequently but as mentioned, they would need a heat source at altitude.
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:15 am

I've always thought it would be neat if they could light up the International Space Station like that with LED lights around the outline of all the solar panels. It may look like just a tiny pinpoint of light from the ground but would make spotting it at night a bit easier I bet.
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ORDJOE
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:21 am

Oh that would look amazing if it were done, just think a 747 lit up that way, but agreed seems like something for show
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:38 am

Quoting brilondon (Reply 10):
If LED lights were to be installed they would not have to be changed out as frequently but as mentioned, they would need a heat source at altitude.

They do not need a heat source. They MAKE heat, especially when clustered closely together. LED's are very good at cold-temperature operations. In fact, the colder, the better. They even continue to operate in liquid nitrogen (although the color of the emitted light changes due to the fact that electrons move more quickly in semiconductors at cold temperatures).
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zippyjet
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:55 am

Quoting iFlyLOTs (Reply 1):

But, I thought LED lights are supposed to produce less glare and concentrate their light where needed. I notice some of the streets in my city have converted over to LED's. At first, when looking you think it's darker but actually the light is concentrated downward towards the street and visibility at night is much improved without the glare of the mercury vapor lights still in use. With the conventional mercury vapor lights, the light has more glare and you can be temporarilly blinded if you stare at them too long. That's not the case with LED's. And, the technology keeps evolving and they even become more efficient. I could imagine airliner tails illuminated with LED's. Also as with cars the red and amber lights can be LED's.
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DocLightning
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:41 am

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 14):
But, I thought LED lights are supposed to produce less glare and concentrate their light where needed.

LED's only have emission cones of 180° or less, but they can be mounted in such a way to provide complete coverage.
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roseflyer
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:11 pm

You are not going to see strobes replaced by LED lights. They don't have the same impact and effect. Continuous light is harder to see than a strobe.

As far as LED lights are concerned, Boeing is putting LED lights on its airplanes for their landing lights. Boeing has LED landing lights for the 787, 747-8 and also the 737NG. I believe LED is also being used for the tail decoration light.

LED lights work well for high intensity directional light. Pilots need additional light for navigating the airport on the ground. This is where the lighter weight and higher intensity light technology is useful. For the purpose of seeing an airplane from a long distance away, LED isn't going to help much.
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:06 pm

If you do the lighting right, I'm sure it can still be done without much problem to the pilots. Look at cruise ships: They follow international navigational light standards (Left red, Right green, stern white,) and are also lit all over, but they are dark where it counts---near the bridge.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting usair330 (Reply 6):
Would it be legal for a pilot to try and put more lights on an aircraft?

As long as it didn't interfere with the other lights or other pilots' vision, yes. But all the current lights have specific functions so you need to prove that your new lights don't interfere with the existing functions. That means you automatically can't use red, white, or green. Other colours would have to be distinct enough to not be confusing. And every extra light means more power and more weight.

Quoting comairguycvg (Reply 11):
I've always thought it would be neat if they could light up the International Space Station like that with LED lights around the outline of all the solar panels. It may look like just a tiny pinpoint of light from the ground but would make spotting it at night a bit easier I bet.

It already reflects a hell of a lot of sunlight (when it's in the sun)...that will be brighter than anything they can do with LEDs.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 16):
You are not going to see strobes replaced by LED lights.

The 787 already replaced the strobes with white blinking LEDs.

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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:52 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 16):

You are not going to see strobes replaced by LED lights. They don't have the same impact and effect. Continuous light is harder to see than a strobe.

They have already been replaced on the 787. And actually, LED's make excellent strobes. A 10MHz pulsed LED has been developed, so they are actually capable of turning on and off far more quickly than any other sort of light except a laser.

It just has to be a very bright LED. But those are available these days.
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:40 pm

LED headlights are now available on several of the more expensive Audi models. They were introduced first on the R8 sports car in 2008.

Related Audi website:
http://www.audileds.com/
 
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:09 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 18):

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 16):
You are not going to see strobes replaced by LED lights.

The 787 already replaced the strobes with white blinking LEDs.

Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to continuous illumination LEDs like in the video that was referenced replacing a blinking/flashing light.
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bikerthai
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:42 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
Then again, at altitude the air is pretty cold and the heat accumulation for an LED strobe would be much less than for a continuous light, so it's possible that we won't see this.

It's such a pain when even though most of the time these lights will be operating at temperature is bellow freezing, designers still have to design for them to operate on the tarmac in Riyadh under the mid-day sun.   

Are not the navigation and anti-collision lights on all the time day or night?

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bikerthai
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:48 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
LED's are very good at cold-temperature operations.

Good to know. I bought some LED's from Costco and put them in my Fridge and Freezer. Wasn't worried about the energy consumption of the light but figured that having spent energy cooling the air in there, why warm it up with an incandescent light bulb?

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roseflyer
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:59 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 22):

It's such a pain when even though most of the time these lights will be operating at temperature is bellow freezing, designers still have to design for them to operate on the tarmac in Riyadh under the mid-day sun.

Your point is true for everything outside the pressure vessel. IT may be a challenge with lights, but if you want to see a real challenge, try to seal the rod end of a hydraulic flight controls actuator at 3000psi that works from -80C up to 60C. There's a reason why you see streaks behind the aileron, elevator and rudder actuators. It is virtually impossible to make things work perfectly in those temperature extremes on an airplane.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:27 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 22):
Are not the navigation and anti-collision lights on all the time day or night?

I can only speak for general aviation but you only need the beacon during the day. The nav lights are only required at night. The strobes are recommended on in flight (especially at night), except in clouds where they reflect back and make visibility worse.

Again, I can only speak for general aviation.
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DocLightning
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:51 pm

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 22):
It's such a pain when even though most of the time these lights will be operating at temperature is bellow freezing, designers still have to design for them to operate on the tarmac in Riyadh under the mid-day sun.

Yes, but only for an hour at a time, tops. And the sorts of temps encountered even in those conditions aren't high enough to shut off an LED.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:14 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 25):
I can only speak for general aviation but you only need the beacon during the day.

For airlines they almost universally use the beacon to indicate to the ground crew that they're starting engines, so you'll see beacons on in the daytime. This isn't usually relevant for GA, where there's little/no ground crew and it's darn obvious when the engine is turning.

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comairguycvg
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:33 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 18):
It already reflects a hell of a lot of sunlight (when it's in the sun)...that will be brighter than anything they can do with LEDs.

Right but I was talking strictly about when it's completely dark with no sunlight reflecting off of it at all.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:13 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 27):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 25):
I can only speak for general aviation but you only need the beacon during the day.

For airlines they almost universally use the beacon to indicate to the ground crew that they're starting engines, so you'll see beacons on in the daytime. This isn't usually relevant for GA, where there's little/no ground crew and it's darn obvious when the engine is turning.

Obvious once it has started yes. However it is not that obvious that it is about to start. Many instructors recommend leaving the beacon switch on at all times. That way as soon as you flip on the electrics the beacon goes on, indicating the aircraft may start the engine(s) soon.

Also lots more people walking around GA planes that have (seemingly) little or no training or understanding of safety.   You don't yell "clear prop" for nothing...


Btu we were talking of in flight. GA will use the beacon (if so equipped) at all times. The strobes can substitute if the beacon is inop.
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Web500sjc
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RE: Will Planes Get Brighter In The Future?

Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:58 pm

Anti collision (beacon or strobe) lights are required for basic day VFR flight. Obviously they can be turned off if it interferes with flying the airplane (in a cloud) the light in question can be turned off- but it must work.

On the cirrus I fly it means that the the strobe must work for day and night, on a Cessna, during the day, you can get away with only a beacon working. At night the strobes must work for all airplanes, and the landing light must work for all aircraft used for hire (again there is the caveat of the lights interfering with a pilots ability to function).
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