One of the first things I remember our owner Mark Cleveland wanting to do when he first came on board was fly at night. He dubbed us the Midnight Flyers and even bought us really cool jackets with a Midnight Flyers logo on it. I’ve been night flying myself for many many years now. It all started with the SPAD Pizza Box airplane. I wrapped it in glow wire and you could easily see it and fly at night. I wasn’t going to let the sun tell me I couldn’t fly any longer. Fast forward a few years and I’m at my fist SEFF show for Hobby Lobby. David Payne was doing all the flying us back then and he put some glow wire on an Alfa Models Mig-15. It was the first electric EDF jet I’d seen flying at night. The cool thing about the Mig was that it could slide along its belly to take off and David was doing touch n’ goes at night. That got as big a reaction as any of the noon time demos!
Lighting has come a long way since those early years and we now have super bright LED Light Strips. These things are priced well, come in many colors, are easy to install and INCREDIBLY BRIGHT. You can put them on planes, helicopters, Multi Rotor Copters, or anything you like. I have a hard time finding anything better to light up my models.
The key to lighting your aircraft is color. You’ll want to use several colors and apply them so that you can maintain orientation in any attitude. You are, after all flying in the dark, so you’ll want to be able to see an outline of your plane or at least know where the front, back, and sides are. Use contrasting colors for left and right and front and back to help with that. Another tip is to never look away. That can be hard at a show with many night flying models in the air, but keep you eyes on your plane, lest you lose it. My favorite night flying object right now is my Quad Rotor copter. It just looks so cool in the air. It’s easy to see and fly and people love seeing this little UFO flying in the sky.
If you’d like to give it a shot, go ahead and get some LED Lights and apply them to your favorite airplane. Don’t let the sun tell you when to stop flying. Night flying is so much fun and the best part is, you can fly anytime , no matter what.