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Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

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Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

Old 12-08-2009, 01:24 AM
  #1  
gauravag
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Default Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

Hi everyone,
I am learning to fly pattern and been following the Awesome Pilot article at TBM. At this point i am able to do Knife edges to the canopy and some to the belly. However when I do the KE to the belly, i note that i do not have enough visual reference on the airplane to make it fly straight . I am going to assemble a new airplane soon, and would like to know what would be best to do in order to improve KE in both direction easier to see/judge and also all round general flying. Here is what i have thought :

Underside of the plane : Red/White thick stripes.
Topside : arrow like burst
something like this : http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=899987

What about the leading/edges of top and bottom ? or the wing tips ? Do adding color there helps ?

please help me in getting the right trim on this airplane, that would make me "see" it better.

Thanks !
Gaurav
Old 12-08-2009, 01:14 PM
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mjfrederick
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

I think the stripes on the bottom of the wing and stab will aid you a lot more than you realize now when it comes to looking at the bottom of the airplane, so that's definitely a good start. I learned that lesson a few years back when I was flying an airplane that was solid blue on the bottom and I was having trouble judging my rolls in the uplines on turnaround maneuvers. I added two white stripes under the outboard half of each wing about 3 inches wide and it made a world of difference. Whatever your color choices, just make sure they are colors that are easy for your eyes to see given the normal flying conditions in your area. Angles of the sun, cloud cover, and air purity all effect the visibility of the aircraft, and no two sets of eyes see colors the same, just make sure you won't be straining to see the airplane.
Old 12-08-2009, 04:12 PM
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Strat2003
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

It might vary from person to person, but I like to have the wing tips in white, both top and bottom. It helps me see wings level.
Old 12-08-2009, 09:27 PM
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

Of all the aircraft I have flown I found the white wing with red tips on the Diamante to be the most easily identifiable. Everyone will have a favorite but that is mine


HTH,


JP
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:49 PM
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rosinskr
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

I spent about a year looking at color schemes and remember walking around the nats a few years ago just observing the visibility of airplanes while flying. The main thing I noticed is that once a plane got anywhere near the sun, toward the end of the box (especially if at the top of a long upline), or on a cloudy day the actual colors weren't as important as the contrast between them. I didn't really matter the actual color but as long as there was a large contrast between them the airplane was very visible. So the actual colors make your plane look good on the ground and the contrast between those colors make the plane visible in the air.

Rick
Old 12-09-2009, 11:25 AM
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RBACONS
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

Rick is exactly correct. You want your scheme to consist of grayscale opposites to maximize visibility. I do up a proposed scheme in color using Microsoft PowerPoint and then click on the Grayscale button which allows you get a sense of contrast between colors that you will see when the plane is flying, particularly at a distance. The other thing is to keep any trim markings as large as possible. A 6" stripe on the bottom of a wing will essentially disappear at a couple of hundred feet. I try to keep them at least 12-15" wide.
Old 12-20-2009, 08:16 AM
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cmoore806
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

I've been planning out a paint scheme for my Black Magic VF3 and I have been looking at a lot of pictures of planes, especilally jets, because jets go so fast these guys are pretty good at making visible designs.

Old 12-20-2009, 08:31 PM
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dlcook
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

I did the same thing a couple of years ago and have colored three planes in the same 'jockey silks" Once you get used to seeing the same plane pattern it is more comfortable. I use bold red, white (yellow is white) and navy. Wing leading edge white on top navy on bottom. you'll see high contrast against the sky and background. This makes wings level easy to see. The balance of the top is a big red arrow. the Tail is a white/navy/white arrow. Up lines should look "up". the Bottom is navy/white/red acorss both panels. Easy to tell top from bottom. Fuss is navy on bottom, white/yellow on top. Horizontal flight should look horizontal. The secret color scheme is to find the one that the judges can't see anything wrong, thus they can't deduct it if they can't see it.
Old 01-17-2010, 02:01 PM
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mcdanman2003
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Default RE: Trim colors to improve visibility and judgement in pattern flying

Did you have some pictures we can view?

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