Cheap solution for night flying. £1 later....

by Plane Stupid RC | November 27, 2016 | (5) Posted in Projects

Us from the Plane Stupid gang love a cheap solution espetially me. In my opinion ebay is the best website in the world if you want a bargain and I love using things for the opposite of their intended purpose and using them for my builds. 

My latest stroke of genius occured in the late summer. I wondered if it was possible to light up an airframe using cheap and cheerful LEDs bought from the local bargain store. Sure enough I attatched them to the outside and game on I was night flying but after seeing flitetest's kraken solution I decided to put them insed the main wing. The problem was I couldn't get them to shine through foamboard so depron was the ovbious choice after that. the results were awsome and here isa picture of my mini arrow with lights,  


The lights were easy to install and the experience was awsome.

Here is a picture of the lights in the pakaging,


But now with winter upon us and the chances to fly getting limited I decided to re do my idea again so the flying doesn't stop when the sun goes down. I had written of my arrow off a long time ago so I was stuck for an airframe until I looked across the workshop and spotted my depron spear. 

I chose this because It has pleanty of room and flies great. A perfect candidate for night flying. Here is a picture of my spear,

Choosing a plane,

A perfect plane for night flying should be depron (because you can get away with low power lights), track and fly well so It is easy to controll in the dark. It should also be quite big so you can't lose sight  of it. I would also recomend something with an airfoil so you can light up the entire plane making orientation a lot easier. 

I tried putting lights on an FT mustang about a year ago but it was foamboard so all I did was stick them on the wings and tail. It all went well to start with but orientation was lost and this was the end product,

It was quite muddy that night but oh well...

Light positioning,

Lights should be placed inside the plane with acouple on the wing tips to help orientation. In the spear I placed lights in the fuseilarge pointing into the wing and also added a further four to light up the fuse itself. I then added two on each wingtip, white forward and red backward, to help with orientation and direction. Here are some pictures of where I have put them,

Here are some pictures in the dark


We have also put together a video of footage so you can get a glimpse at what it is like to fly at night,

Night flying can be achived in many ways Including flashy expensive setups using LED strips and fancy lipo powered solutions but I think the cheap single LEDs are the way forward. They weigh very little and still produce a good amount of lighting to fly from. Very good results can be gained for a very little amount of cash and that is what I love. Nightflying also gives a great buzz that will never grow old and it will never stop entertaining you and now it is winter the chances are much greater as it gets darker a lot earlier. Extending your available flying hours into the night...

Good luck with your own models, 

Dan from PSRC :)


Fidget on December 7, 2016
Cool. I especially like the ones on the wing tips that shine forward & back.
Are they bright enough to see from across the field? Do you turn them all on one by one?
Log In to reply
Plane Stupid RC on December 7, 2016
Yes, they are bright enough to see from the other side of the field, however this depends on how old they are as they tend to lose brightness over time. We do turn them on one by one as they have a little battery inside them but they do not take long to do this. You can get lights that are powered by the battery of the plane but the disadvantage of them is you get less flight time.
Log In to reply
Fidget on December 7, 2016
Log In to reply

You need to log-in to comment on articles.

Cheap solution for night flying. £1 later......