How to Set Up an RC Plane for Night Flying

Written by harvey birdman
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How to Set Up an RC Plane for Night Flying
Flying at night is a little more challenging than flying during the day. (Rc plane about to take off image by macegraphics from

Setting up a remote control (RC) plane for night flying takes some preparation but can make for a fun night out. With some tape, watch batteries, LEDs and a glow stick you can make your remote control plane into a veritable flying Christmas tree. This will allow you to track the plane as it flies and allow for recovery even if the plane suffers an internal fault that cuts the power out from the electrical system.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • LED
  • Watch battery
  • Electrical tape
  • Glow stick

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  1. 1

    Place your remote control plane down on a dry, clear, and well lit work space. Make sure the plane is turned off before starting the modification process. Turn the plane over so that the underside faces up. Snap and shake a chemical light rod, also called a glow stick, and place it on the bottom of the plane. Hold the light down with one hand while winding electrical tape around the top of the stick and over the chassis of the plane. Repeat this process on the bottom of the light stick as well. Use two layers on each end to ensure a good and tight fit.

  2. 2

    Rotate the plane around so the top of the plane now faces upwards. Place one LED wire lead on the top of the watch battery disc and the other lead on the bottom of the watch battery disc. The LED will now light up. Wrap electrical tape around the battery so that the LED wire leads are affixed to the battery. Tape the battery and light package on to the tip of the rightwing, being careful not to tape over any movable flaps. Repeat this process for the leftwing.

  3. 3

    Shake the remote control plane to see if any of the taped on lights fall off. If they do, reaffix the lights with additional tape. Take the remote control plane to an open field and turn the plane on, along with the corresponding remote control. Actuate all the flaps while visually observing the plane to make sure nothing is obstructed and then take off. The LEDs will act like normal air traffic lights and the glow stick will act as an emergency reversing light in case the LEDs fail.

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