Believe it or not, maintaining visibility in the air may be even more important for a pilot than being able to see the strip or pad where they plan to land their machine. Of course, if you take the landing out of the equation like with a quadcopter, then being visible in the air is definitely an important thing. Many aircraft, both large and small, feature lights that blink and flash to reveal their position to other aircraft which may be flying in or around the same air space – but again, when talking about smaller, unmanned craft, the standard lights they come with may not be enough to get the job done.
That’s why it can be a great idea to add some of your own lights to a flying machine after-market. The only issue with this is weight, because a greater mass means the machine needs to work that much harder to get into the air and stay there, and if a flying machine is too heavy, it won’t be doing any flying at all. So, the solution needs to be lightweight, portable and easy to use, so you don’t have to perform too many modifications that could cause potentially harmful side effects for your flying machine. Enter LED lighting right here to fix this issue.
LED light bars especially satisfy all of the conditions listed here for what makes good aviation lighting. They are lightweight, you can literally just slap them onto wings or some other flat piece of the aircraft with the use of a good adhesive, and they don’t require you to drill any holes or make other permanent modifications to your flying machine in order for them to work. So, if you’re a fan of flying remote controlled quadcopters, then you might want to check out http://lightbarreport.com/ to see a few examples of what we’re talking about here.
Reflective tape is another option that’s even lighter than any LED setup, but such stuff only works if there’s a decent light source nearby to reflect off the tape in the first place. If you’re flying in low visibility conditions, like at night, then that light probably isn’t around, so that tape is pretty much useless for those times. You could always hold off on flying until daylight hours, but why do that when there’s no need?
Of course, there are other ways to make your flying machine stand out without attaching anything to it. If you have the equipment for it, you can use spotlights to illuminate a dark sky and give yourself a nice, bright place in which to fly around, where it would be impossible for other aircraft to miss seeing you. This solution is kind of unrealistic though, because it’s a lot more expensive and resource-intensive than the LED bars, or even the reflective tape. If you’re committed to the tape though, at least it would work better under conditions like these.