Night Flying

Sam's New Rascal 7-21-12This is Sam’s Rascal, but since Jay has the same one (practically) and I just realized that I don’t have a picture of Jay’s (bad wife!!!) that I had to use this. Jay absolutely LOVES his Rascal.

Thus it didn’t really surprise me when he said that he wanted to put LED lights on it so that he could fly it at night. Okay… as long as he’s happy that’s all I care about.

So he bought reels of LED lights that are already soldered onto the strips. All you have to do is hook them up and turn them on. He did a lot of research and ended up buying his lights off of Amazon. I can’t recall how much he paid for them, but it was a pretty good deal. He also bought a separate controller so that he could turn them on and off while in the sky. Yes… Jay likes to push the envelope and that includes flying completely dark at night. It turned out really good! These pictures aren’t the best, but you get a little bit of an idea how it looked.

Beginning the Process 7-30-13Yes, there is something in this picture. I wanted to show you how dark it was when he was getting ready to fly. You can somewhat see the white glow of the plane in the picture.






Interior Lights 7-30.13This is how he thinks ahead… he placed a strip of the lights inside so that when he hooked up his receiver’s battery the strip of LED’s would turn on so that he can then see to connect the flight batteries. Why didn’t he just turn on the LED’s on the outside of the plane? Because it would have blinded him to be that close to them. This really is a good idea for any of you wishing to borrow it.



Rascal Lit Up 7-30-13And then there was light! Jay used mostly blue LED’s, but they glowed a violet color when they were against that white covering. He also used green and white on the wing tips so that he would be able to orient himself when up in the air.






Cliff's Senior 7-30-13One of the other guys has a SIG Senior that he put LEDs on for night flying. In fact, it was this plane that really got Jay going on installing them on the Rascal. This Senior isn’t electric… it’s gas. At this point they were trying to get it started. Hey, Cliff… “Electric don’t do that!”  Also, Cliff doesn’t have his lights running through a controller. As soon as he flips the switch on his plane they are on.


Taxing Out 7-30-13Here is Jay taxing out to get ready for taking off. He really did a great job with those lights! I love the view from the back.









Taking Off 7-30-13Here he is… getting ready to take off… the maiden night flight…









Jay 7-30-13This is how a lot of my pictures turned out that I tried to take. I obviously don’t have the best camera for taking night pictures, but it’s okay. One of the interesting things about this picture is that if you remember, Jay had red LED’s on the right wing… so you know that the plane is heading towards us.





Cliff 7-30-13This is how the Senior looked in the air. A different pattern, slightly different LED’s, and a different feel altogether. It makes for a pretty picture, though. Very Christmas-y.







Hovering 7-30-13Here we go… one of the decent pictures. Jay was hovering the Rascal and then slipping into a tail slide. The two white ‘feet’ are the white LED’s that wrap around the rudder. Isn’t it neat?! You really should see it in person. Especially when Jay is flying it around and turning the lights on and off. One of the other guys started freaking out and it wasn’t even his plane!



Landing 7-30-13Coming in for a landing…

Again, if you’ve never experienced night flying you should see if any of your local clubs do it. We discussed having a night fun fly just so that everybody could light up their planes. It adds another dimension to your flying. I know that I’m definitely not good enough to do it, but I really do love watching it.

Hopefully I will have more pictures to show you as the summer progresses…

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