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badderjet

Cockpit lighting - red versus white??

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Another post pointed us towards this image http://www.airliners.net/open.file/272199/L/A terrific photo - but it led me to thinking. During my time in the Australian Navy (both in surface ships and submarines) , bridge lighting was RED. In fact, at periscope depth, a submarine boat is blacked out completely and any instrument lights are red with a VERY low intensity. This is because night vision at sea is absolutely essential!!So I am wondering why these aircraft cockpits are so brightly lit -- obviously you don't need the degree of night vision in the air as you do at sea -- but I could imagine (not being a pilot myself) that low flying GA aircraft would need good night vision and hence the all-red lighting principle would/should apply. For anybody who has never experienced the difference on night vision between white or red lighted gauges should try it out for themselves - it is enormous.Input from experienced pilots would be much appreciated.Thanks Barry

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What you see in that picture is not just the instrument lighting (which is indeed low intensity) but the floodlights as well.On a ship, you probably had spotlights over carttables etc.? Well, this is much the same except the area is smaller so it lights the entire compartment. The lights are amber, that's not because of using daylight film in artificial light.I'd imagine the aircrew turning off the floodlights a few minutes before entering final approach (with maybe a small spotlight remaining on the chartholder with the approach plate).b.t.w. I'm no pilot either, but I know what you mean :) Even in FS it can be harder to spot things outside the cockpit when you have a brightly lit room and you're flying at night.

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Talking about night vision, I only ever use FS2002 "seriously" in a fully darkened room. I have two HPM "moonlights" at either side of my keyboard. They provide just enough of a faint green glow to light the keys up on my keyboard without interfering with my vision. On the right side of my FS2002 desk I have a 5 watt halogen light that I turn on when I need to refer to my flight plan and / or VFR maps. The flight plan and map sits on a clipboard mounted to the right edge of the desk. I just flick a switch on the left side of the desk and the light goes on. So I can read my maps and notes without taking my hands off the joystick or throttle.Mind you, I would love that halogen lamp to be red, but I have searched high and low for either a red bulb or a red lens without luck. Any Aussies know where I could get one? All I've found are those coloured halogen lamps for ceiling down-lights. My light doesn't even need to be halogen. I just want it red!

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That cockpit is brightly lit for the purpose of taking the picture. Just because we have all those lights does not mean you use them at all times. Usually, only the panel lighting which illuminates the panel inscriptions would be all that is used in flight. The panel floodlights are rarely used. Though I do know a few people who like to keep their side of the panel floodlights on, I would only use them if I needed to take a quick look at the atis card stuck on the panel. The cockpit dome light would usually only be used when getting in and out of the cockpit at the gate. The maplights would be turned on as necessary.

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you could try a red gel or thin red sheet of plastic. Make sure you have enough ventilation and/or only use it for short periods or the halogen bulb can overheat.

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Can you please explain me two things:1. What's a dome and storm light? I actually know what flood light is. but neither dome nor storm... Saw those switches on a 744's overhead panel.2. What's runway tornoff lights (Airbus)?Thanks in advance :-)Etienne :-wave

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