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To strobe or not to strobe... that is the question

Andy Dixon

Cross Country Pilot
#4
Always better to be more visible,than less visible.... get the most powerful strobes you can they may just catch someone’s eye when it really counts.
just which strobes you get is a mine field of cost and quality,there are plenty that interferes with your radio, so buy on recommendations
 

frozendreamer

Cross Country Pilot
#8
https://www.flexwingscotland.co.uk/
have a look at what Andy fitted to his silver Quik, or ask his advice
Yep.... have spotted that post. I looked into the lights he fitted but I'll be honest, just wasn't a fan of the look. I'm also going for the winglet placement, and there's a video of one like that on those pages. I've also seen a few at the club like the one I mentioned above and apparently they were part of the original P&M build. I shall continue to look around.
 

Roger Mole

Cross Country Pilot
#9
The ones I fitted to my Savannah were the Aveo Powerburst. At that time they were very well priced at aeroshop.eu but I haven't checked the price now. They're small and light and work well. They also include coloured (red and green) LEDs in the design but as I recall you can't control them separately. But why would you want to? They're a bonus.
 
#10
A company called www.smoothaviation.com supplied strobes for a couple of friends, not cheap but very effective, similar to the style your looking at and guaranteed no radio interference.
I have the older skyflash strobes (xenon bulb type) fitted and they certainly aren't as effective as LED types, I can demo the 2 different types when you collect the R.
 
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#11
In answer to frozendreamer's OP, to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a strobe airborne in VMC before I saw the aircraft they were mounted on. Maybe they subconsciously attracted my eye towards them, but I tend to think of them as a fashion item.

Doubtless others will disagree.
 
#13
The newer LED strobes have the potential to cause eye damage at very close quarters.

Frozendreamer makes a very good point about the power being supplied and control inside the light itself, switching voltages on cables from control units to lights near radios and other electronics is a risk as far as interference is concerned, if the switching/control circuits are on the wing tip the risk is much reduced.

I haven't seen cheap strobes, except for paramotors, there were some being exhibited at St Hilaire in 2018 with very low power and very bright by a Polish firm called SKYFLAR.

Not sure about money saving, if you're going to drill holes they need to be good...
 

Roger Mole

Cross Country Pilot
#15
They're 'old tech' as far as I'm concerned, with a splitter control box. Pay less (a bit) get more weight. And complexity. Nahh....
 
#17
In answer to frozendreamer's OP, to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a strobe airborne in VMC before I saw the aircraft they were mounted on. Maybe they subconsciously attracted my eye towards them, but I tend to think of them as a fashion item.

Doubtless others will disagree.
It may be that you've caught them in your peripheral vision first as it's more sensitive than the central area of your retina.
I think navigation lights could as you say be regarded as a "fashion item" but surely anything that helps to be seen and avoided must be worth fitting?

Dont discount Xenon strobes as good ones are incredibly bright and shouldn't interfere with radio or intercom if installed correctly.

Also, maybe consider an LED landing light. I've got one. It's very bright and I tend to have it on all the time.

I count them all as insurance, but I'll probably never know how well they work. IMHO better to fit and be seen than don't fit and regret it later.

Could you get any owners at your airfield to help by asking what to they've got fitted and do a visibility comparison from a distance? That might help narrow down the choice.
 

ginge

First Solo Pilot
#18
I have never once spotted another aircraft by seeing its strobes first and I fly in a pretty busy bit of sky. I don't pretend to understand why because they should help, it is very rare even on a short local flight that I don't see other traffic and in a lot of places my head is turning like a fighter pilot's. It may be as Frank says but I don't believe so.
I like the idea of the smoke trail but I fear I'd not get far without provoking phone calls about my imminent demise
 
#19
Re the smoke trail. At a Balloon event at Sackville Farm a few years ago we watched a GA plane take off and leave a black smoke trail behind it. There was a lot of concerned spectators who were convinced something was amiss and expected the worst. It landed about an hour later none the worse. It turned out to have diesel engine and the smoke was "normal" 😬😬
 

Gentreau

Administrator
Staff member
#20
.....I like the idea of the smoke trail but I fear I'd not get far without provoking phone calls about my imminent demise
Maybe if you mixed some red food colouring into the oil people would realise it was not a broken engine, even if they didn't mistake you for a lone Red Arrow :)
 

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