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The great debate on the Inspire 1 LED light scheme

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Jay Baldwin, May 2, 2015.

  1. Jay Baldwin

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    Since the beginning of aviation, the standards for lighting on aircraft have followed the standards of those set by the world’s watercraft as in Navy, as in boats, as in International Standards for Navigation.

    The Starboard (right side of craft) should be Green LEDs and the Port (left side of craft) should be Red LEDs. The Stern (rear of craft) should technically be white, but with the strobe, is easily distinguished as to orientation of the craft to both the PIC, spotters, AND other aircraft (manned/unmanned).

    For novices, there still is a distinguishing “difference” when looking at the craft from all four “main” axises. All red, the observer is seeing the “left” (port) side of the craft with the nose to the left. All green, the observer is seeing the “right” (starboard) side of the craft with the nose to the right.

    With the craft going away from the PIC, spotters, AND other aircraft, all would see red on left side and green on right side AND the strobe. With the craft coming toward the PIC, spotters, AND other aircraft, all would see green on left side and red on right and no strobe.

    Now all I have to do is do the MOD and incorporate into my flight manuals for the waiver I’m expecting soon. Makes sense to me, how about others?
     
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  2. World Media

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    Every time I fly I think that the colour scheme and layout is just wrong, The green and red (Starboard and port) scheme has been effective for hundreds of years and is what aviators are used to seeing to identify quickly aircraft orientation and direction of travel.
    Actually one point is that with the correct scheme on a drone we would know orientation but not direction of travel ..... in the air on the water if you see red and green together you know you are heading straight for each other!

    Planes and boats rarely go backwards in the manner a drone can.

    That said we should be following the international lighting standards for sure.
     
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  3. Kilrah

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    Which would be completely useless and unintuitive when piloting an inspire. What's more likely and thus important for the pilot is to know whether he's flying nose-in or nose-out, which the current scheme is meant to address. Green = nose out = all good, red = nose-in = watch your stick orders. Conveniently red on left means you see the left side and red on right means you see the right side, so you've got all you need and in a way that's "optimized" for the purpose.

    Comparison with planes/boats and someone used to that looking at it being confused makes little sense, as unlike with those vehicles the orientation gives no valid info about the trajectory anyway.
     
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  4. Jay Baldwin

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    A key component of this discussion includes OTHER aircraft (manned/unmanned)! The skys are not yours alone, and the scheme must represent well to others tha may need to make adjustments to get away from your aircraft. Please think about the big picture of safety and the community. IMHO
     
  5. InspiredOne

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    Full-sized "light" aircraft fly (by law) no lower than 500 feet. "Model" aircraft, as the Inspire 1 fly (by law) no higher than 400 feet. So two types of aircraft are not, technically, sharing the same airspace. Therefore your point is moot, technically speaking.
     
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  6. Kilrah

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    And just read the sentence you quoted... due to the flying characteristics of a multirotor, even if the light scheme was the "usual" one people would still be fooled as to where you might be going.
     
  7. jmstone

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    Personally, I like the lighting scheme on the Inspire... but having never piloted a manned aircraft, I have no preconceived notion that it "should" be some other way. To me, it makes sense... if I see green, it's facing away and the controls are as expected. If I see red, some of them are reversed. Though, in all honesty, it's usually so bright when I'm flying I can't see the lights anyway.

    Comparing the lights on an Inspire with the lights on manned air/watercraft seems like an apple to oranges comparison. Not only because, as InspiredOne points out, they don't share the same airspace (and hopefully not the same waterspace)... but also because, since the pilot is physically away from the craft, the lights on the Inspire are likely intended for the use of the pilot himself — not for some third-party observer or other craft to identify orientation. Jay, you mention the importance of allowing other UAS pilots to identify your orientation for safety reasons, but Kilrah appropriately points out that, on a quadcopter, the direction of the nose doesn't necessarily indicate direction of travel, since they're literally able to fly in any direction. Again, apples and oranges. Heck, it might actually make more sense for these small UASs to ditch red/green entirely and just use a different lighting color scheme, to further differentiate it from manned aircraft and ensure nobody's misinterpreting what the lights indicate.
     
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  8. Airwolf13

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    and so it goes...bottom line? RED is REAR facing PERIOD
     
  9. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    What if you are color blind?

    I'm going the InspiredOne and Sirnikolas route and going all cowardly .......... I'm sitting this one out :p
     
    #9 The Editor, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  10. Eduardo

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    Maybe quad (and hexa, octo, etc) copters could even ditch the concept of forward and backward (ship wise), since they can move in any direction.

    If one uses course lock, that's specially true, where forward and backward are related to take off point, not the craft itself.
     
  11. Airwolf13

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    DUH. Except in the world of 'flying camera's, eg.filming, MOSTLY people fly N-S. not side to side. SO...RED belongs in the rear. If I could figure an EASY way to change the lights, I would.
     
  12. Eduardo

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    If you want paralax shots with a Phantom for example, you need to fly side to side.

    And since it can't turn the camera like the Inspire, you need to make the drone itself a big gimbal, turning it while flying a straight line, for example.
     
  13. Airwolf13

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    True. BUT. the rear is still the rear. The front still the front. There are no lights on the side. Therefore. Front and back. Red on the rear. Green on the front. DJI has it backwards
     
  14. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
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    I like the lights but I think it is only because that is the way they are. If they were set up different, I'd probably just get used to that.... I don't care if they are pink as long as I can see them and know what they are before I fly. I like OPs plan too if you could see the lights from the sides, which would be nice.
     
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  15. Airwolf13

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    I added BlackBurn bike lights,which fit perfectly on the arms in red for the FRONT and White for the Rear. Helps me to spot. I have bad eyesight.
     
  16. Paul K

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    The red and green light on full size aircraft or boat is mainly for passing each other.
    On the quad the lights are so close together, when it gets a bit farther the lights get kind of mixed together anyway.
    For me when I see green I know the craft is going away from me, and when I have red I know it is facing me.
     
    #16 Paul K, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  17. DRONEONER

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    redlights should be in the rear. green in front..... i dont care about other planes and their setup. lights on a car red is rear and makes sense, green = go forward. i always feel the thing has them in the wrong position.
     
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  18. SGsoar

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    I wish I could reverse the lights. Red in the back makes so much more sense
     
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  19. mdomeny

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    +1
     
  20. JRenner

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    Yea, I come from a Navy background and enjoy the frequent NOE nighttime fly-bys of my neighbour's house (he's a friend so he doesn't mind...I think) - it's pretty darn confusing when you see only red navigation lights facing towards you ; old habits die hard. It's literally a moment of ; 'that's a vessel perpendicular to my position' - *pushes pitch forward* - F**K!!!!