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What's the History of High/Low, Red/Green???

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Old 05-26-2014, 05:36 AM
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GSJames
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Default What's the History of High/Low, Red/Green???

At the Club 40 race in Hico this weekend, they tried something different to identify airplanes. Instead of the standard NMPRA high/low, red/ green system, they simply added blue and yellow to the mix and had 4 different colors. This worked quite well and according to the cut judges were very easy to see. The only problem from my point of view is the use of water-based "Tempra" paint instead of the Uline 5x7 inventory stickers. BTW, Uline makes stickers in many different colors.

http://www.uline.com/BL_1224/Inventory-Control-Label

So it got me wondering, just where the 2-color system came from. I remember as a kid watching Formula One and the plane identification to the cut judges. It was probably pretty tough for them to keep track of all the beautiful airplanes with similar paint jobs, so I can easily see why the colored wing markers came to be, but why only 2 colors instead of 4? Are there any "old hands" out there that can shed some light on the history of the wing markings.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:40 PM
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Bozarth
 
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I think the fluorescent pink/green stickers were the brightest colored stickers available at the time. I remember being at a pilot's meeting at the 1997(?) Nats where the CD asked us not to paint our models with fluorescent colors similar to the stickers. We did not use stickers the year prior (1996) and had to note the color scheme as a cut judge (pilots rotated in as judges) - each plane was held up in order to be ID'd by the cut judge sitting in the cage at pylon one. A flash of the turn light (shutters back then - not lights) was an indication that the cut judge had a positive ID. Note pads were available to each cut judge. If two planes had similar color schemes, the judges might ask for both of the planes to be held up again next to each other to find some differences. This was back in the days of slices, button-hooks (both were considered cuts) and on course judging.

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Old 05-29-2014, 04:49 AM
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I got a call from my friend Jerry Small and he claimed "responsibility" for coming up with the idea. That didn't surprise me since Jerry is a very creative and talented person who has contributed many, many ideas and model designs to RC Pylon racing as well as being one of the "creators" of the new EF-1 class. Jerry said that the 2-color system was simply a matter of cost, because the Uline stickers are a fairly large "up front" expense. The stickers only cost about a penny or so each, but they come in huge rolls so they aren't cheap. He is now investigating some water-soluble spray paint that is inexpensive and may work well.
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