Night Flight ..... What’s the Big Deal?
There are three types of Modelers that are interested in Aircraft Lighting.
1. - The Curious Modeler
2. - The Scale Modeler
3. - The Insane Modeler
This page is dedicated to the latter, but we welcome the others as well!
Imagine the following scenerio. It is very, very dark. You turn on your work light, a 12VDC lamp connected to your field box. You preflight your model and start the engine. Now you take a deep breath and turn off the work light. You begin to taxi out of the pit area, the taxi ways are marked with blue marker lights. As you approach the runway, you visually scan the area for local traffic. The runway is marked with white marker lights with a pair of red markers at each end of the runway. As you taxi towards the end of the runway, you complete the checklist:
"Navigation Lights .. ON, Strobes ... Functioning, Landing Lights ... ???" You flip the switch on your transmitter and the landing lights come to life. You check for traffic again and tell your model how much you have enjoyed spending time with it! You take that last deep deep breath, throttle up, reach takeoff speed, and begin climbout.
"Landing Lights ... OFF".
From this time forward, you navigate your model solely by studying the lights on the aircraft. You keep telling yourself "RED, RIGHT, RETURN". Unless Im inverted... Am I? You notice the cold chill that envelopes your entire being, knowing that now you truly are one of the INSANE!
When you have finally satisfied your insanity (or the model is about to run out of fuel!), you decide that it’s time to land. You enter the downwind leg of the pattern, reduce throttle, and set half flaps. Ok, it’s stable, you turn on the landing lights and begin a left turn to base leg. "Watch the airspeed, good, good, ok now turn to final".
"Keep the airspeed up, concentrate on the landing lights, decending, decending." You cross over the red marker lights and begin your flare. Throttle all the way back, holding it off, dropping the airspeed and gently touching down on the main gear.
You hear applause behind you ... or is that your knees knocking together?
Either way you smile inwardly. You taxi back to the pits, shut everything off, walk behind a car and SCREAM.......YES!!!!!!!!!
You stand around with all your buddies and answer questions about the construction of your night flier.