US navigation lights: steady, blinking, both?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Lloyd, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Lloyd

    Lloyd New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    #1 Lloyd, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2015
    I'm unable to determine if US aircraft (esp. fighters, most esp. P-38 ) red/green/white navigation lights--when in-use--were on steady, blinking, or both? For example, maybe red/green were on steady and white blinked as with modern aircraft?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, even if it's just links to references.

    PS I'm currently building a large-scale P-38J and trying to make nav lights as historically accurate as possible.
    PPS Perchance is it the same with other Allied planes?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    AFAIK nav lights on WW2 aircraft didn't blink
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,653
    Likes Received:
    1,416
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    I agree with Joe.
    RAF aircraft of WW2 had 'steady' wing tip lights (Red/Blue [or greenish blue]), with a white light on the tail, and sometimes on the fuselage spine (example Spitfire and Hurricane).These fighters also had an 'amber' light on the underside center section, used as an I.D. or signal lamp, which could be 'steady', or switched to a Morse key to signal 'Letter of the Day'.
    Larger (British) RAF aircraft, such as the Lancaster, or Mosquito, had a row of three, hooded lamps on the underside fuselage, similar to the American lay-out, in Red, Amber, Green, which again could be set in combination, or 'flashed' in Morse code. There was a also a 'shielded', dim lamp, buried in a tubular housing on the outer wings (thename of which escapes me!) which could only be viewed from directly behind.
    I'm not exactly sure when the 'modern' style of flashing wing tip and tail lights was introduced, but this followed on from the first stage of a rotating, or flashing, strobe light 'anti-collision' beacon, first mounted either on the top of the fin, or the fuselage spine, and then later also added (sometimes, depending on type) to the fuselage underside. I think the 'all flashing' transition was in the late 1960's to early 1970's, but of course, aircraft from earlier periods were/are up-dated to meet the regulations of the period, so, for example, a currently airworthy DC3/C-47, would probably have 'all flashing', as opposed to the original 'fit'.
    So basically, for WW2, your P-38 would have 'steady' nav lamps.
    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Lloyd

    Lloyd New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    software engineer
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Thank you BOTH of you! That definitely makes perfect sense, and thanks for mentioning the bit about retrofits of older planes. In the case of the P-38, plans show 3 lights under the nacelle and just behind the gear bay, but I can't determine how they were used, just like nav lighting.

    Somewhere, recently, I read how RAF planes signaled with lights as they approached fields throughout the war. (I found it very interesting, at least.)

    Again, thanks!
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,188
    Likes Received:
    2,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    The lamps found in locations other than the wingtips, upper fuselage and tail assembly (on types such as the B-24 and Bf110, the marker lamp was found on the centerline, trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer, directly between the two vertical stabilizers) were most often "recognition lamps".

    The colors would be like Airframes mentioned, a combination of Red, Amber and Green or in pairs and occasionally, a single lamp. They could be found on the wing undersides or in other areas, like the fuselage and these would be used briefly during flight to signal or co-ordinate between each other.

    If an aircraft is going to signal an airfield, it would be most like be done with the landing lights, as they were the most visable at a distance.
     
Loading...

Share This Page