UFO-looking RGB LED RC Plane Lights Up the Night, Uses All the Acronyms

[Roballoba] decided to combine his love for RC planes, things that light up, and photography, and we’re glad he did. He shares his method in this Instructable for illuminating a bare styrofoam replacement fuselage for a Parkzone Stryker RC plane.  There are many more amazing pictures there as well.

He used low-tack tape to lay out the LED strips on the fuselage, solder the connections, and test them. Once he was satisfied with the arrangment, he flipped the strips face down so the foam diffuses the light. The lights are powered by a 12V Li-Po battery he soldered to a deans connector. Finally, [Roballoba] covered  and heat sealed everything with Doculam, a very cost-effective laminate that offers great protection and security.

He used some LED corn lights as afterburners, which is a nice touch of realism. There is a video after the break where [Roballoba] shows us the connections up close and then runs through some light show options.  Another video of a nighttime flight is waiting for you in the write up.

Spent too much money on eggnog and a new console this year to be able to replicate this build? $30 will snag what you need for this smartphone-controlled paper plane we featured a few weeks back. You could always BeDazzle it.

Comments

  1. static says:

    Because I’m not sure I watch all the video available, there is a possibility the following patter was in the mix. There needs to be pattern where the lights chase each other around the circumference of plane. We all know that’s how the alien vehicles light pattern look like ;) I would think flying a RC plane at night would violate all sorts of rules written or assumed by the RC community. Even if the flight was in the middle of nowhere. Regardless it’s a far out build.

    • fartface says:

      He cant as he used the cheap RGB led’s that are not addressable, at least from what I could tell from the video, they use 4 wires Ground, Red, Green, Blue and you PWM to mix colors. Unless he bought a very very old strip of the addressables that need the clock line, but then they would have to be wired differently than what he did.

    • Kristina says:

      What fartface said. Also, he warns that the local authorities will most likely take an interest in what you’re up to if you fly such a plane at night.

    • soopergooman says:

      In the background while he was flying it around, did anyone else notice at 1:38 in the video there was another pulsating light9white) that was moving up into the sky and then just stops there? then it disappears and reappears to the left side of the video and starts rising again just with a soft pulsing light, stops again and fades out. Maybe they caught a real ufo in their video. Great build, awesome lights and I think I might have to do something similar when I get my new delta wing next month. Kudos on the awesome plane, mod and video with a real ufo in the distance.

  2. If you were flying this in Christchurch, (New Zealand) all I can say is it was freaking awesome.

    I saw this (or something very similar from about 5 km away, and the park it was being flown from where I was heading. Stopped and watched for a while.

    Uber-cool.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    So when do we see it fly?

  4. Jamen says:

    Those aren’t acronyms. They’re initialisms. LED *might* be an exception but you’d sound like a weirdo pronouncing it like “lead”.

    • James Hobson says:

      During my European Hackerspace Tour, a large number of people called them “leads” — just a cultural difference depending on where you are! I still prefer L-E-D, but that’s just me.

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve been calling them L-E-D’s and leds interchangeably coming up on 40 years now. Nobody really cared what I called them as long as I knew what I was doing circuit wise.

    • Hitek146 says:

      In my 30 years of electronics, I have never heard of an LED referred to as a “lead”, until the internet became prolific. Why would anyone want to have a *third* word in the common language when we already have the element “lead” and the past-tense verb “led”?

  5. Alex says:

    The flickering RGB reminds me of the not-quite-white you get when your Apple II’s monitor is switched to color mode.

  6. I just cringe when people call them “leds” and not spelling it out. it just sounds weird.

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