Powering Your F-16 With An Arduino

What do you do when you have an F-16 sitting around, and want to have some blinking navigation lights? We know of exactly one way to blink a light, and apparently so does [Dr. Craig Hollabaugh]. When asked to help restore an F-16 for the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in New Mexico, [Craig] pulled out the only tool that should ever be used to blink navigation lights on an air superiority fighter.

[Craig]’s friend was working on getting an F-16 restored for the Nuclear Museum, and like anyone with sufficient curiosity, asked how hard it would be to get the navigation lights working again. [Craig] figured an Arduino would do the trick, and with the addition of a shield loaded up with a few mosfets, the nav lights on an old F-16 would come to life once again.

The board doesn’t just blink lights on and off. Since [Craig] is using LEDs, the isn’t the nice dimming glow you’d see turning a normal incandescent light off and on repeatedly. To emulate that, [Craig] is copying Newton’s law of cooling with a PWM pin. The results are fantastic – at the unveiling with both New Mexico senators and a Brigadier General, everything went off without a hitch. You can see the unveiling video below, along with a few videos from [Craig]’s build log.

15 thoughts on “Powering Your F-16 With An Arduino

  1. How to one-up this: Build a 3rd gen ie whiffle ball fusor with the HV power supply and hand wound superconducting magnets driven by an Arduino and call it the “Fusorduino” …

  2. “We know of exactly one way to blink a light, and apparently so does [Dr. Craig Hollabaugh]. ”
    This made me laugh out loud. I love it.

    And seconding that this might well be a computing power upgrade, at least in some respects. Aerospace hardware tends to have priorities other than high speed. Even the F22 has a decades out of date CPU, capable of about 1/200 of the number of instructions per second as your typical desktop processor.

  3. Nice one I like it :-)
    I’d be tempted to run a 1Kw Woofer driven by a remote control enabled mp3 player to offer a jet sound with the classic ramp up volume and maybe a burst fan for that nice puff of smoke at the end of it, with maybe a roasted rodent being ejected at the appropriate moment pulling a mini parachute ;-)
    Certification for the smps supplying the Arduino could be a huge FAA issue though (sigh)

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