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Thread: Yellow or Red
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Going the somewhat scientific route, red starts looking like black or dark grey with some distance. I think it has to do with the shorter wavelength of the light wave not penetrating as well. Yellow, being a bit longer, penetrates better, and of course reflects more of the yellow sun light making it even brighter. The other issue is that your pupils adjust to the brightness of your general environment- the sky. If you took some black and white pictures, you'd find the red plane looks darker than the sky, while the yellow one looks lighter. So comparing the contrasts you'll actually see in flight, red will give you a grey on blue appearance that is darker than the sky around it, while yellow will give you a yellow on blue appearance that is lighter than the sky around it.The result of that brightness difference is all the details of the red plane are obscured because it appears to be in shadows, while the details of the yellow plane are clear because it looks illuminated. Of course, everyone's eyes are different, and there are probably a few pilots that find the yellow plane overwhelming or find that they can track the darker object better, but I think most of us see the yellow on blue contrast better than the red on blue.