It all started in winter, when there were many threads about night flights.

At the same time I also wanted to try what night flights were all about.
I've decided making an x-shaped plane and chose "Yak-55", a model familiar and well-known from the simulator .
Due to financial troubles, plane's material was common rough insulating styrofoam.
However, I had to correct my plans due to winter session and tutoring at school. Ultimately, the plane was only built in summer from parts prepared in winter and then only after my "Madness 2" crashed. I won't be describing the building process itself, as it was very well written about in other posts. I'd only say that not a single carbon tube was used during construction. Wing spar is a 1cm high piece of ruler, reinforcements - bamboo rails from soviet matting, braces - shashlik bamboos, also used as pull rods. As a result of using all of these "light nano-materials" the indoor plane made of 1cm styrofoam had a flight weight of 230g. This was the reason for calling it BRICK-FLYER. I used batteries ranging from 750 to 1000mAh Inner parts:
2205C 1400Kv Brushless motor
TURNIGY Plush 10amp 9gram Speed Controller
HXT500 Micro Servo 0.6kg / 0.08sec / 6.2g
HXT900 Micro Servo 1.6kg / 0.12sec / 9g
Rhino 750mAh 3S 11.1v 20C Lipoly Pack
Turnigy nano-tech 850mAh 3S 45~90C Lipo Pack
Turnigy 1000mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack

Walkera WK-2801 PRO - Transmissor 8 canais

I didn't expect much after such "quality" planes' first start, but surprisingly it took off and flew normally, after which I've installed illumination on it. A few words about the illumination itself: I was fascinated by the illumination sets made by "Aurora" (No advertising intended: ). Following this sets' example, additional winglets illuminated by LED strips were installed to the plane. And then I wondered what it would be like if the propeller was illuminated. After thinking around a bit, I came up with a plan illustrated below:

1. In the prop crossing the hexahedron is bored in order for the battery to fit 2. One LED of any color is soldered out of the strip (a red one in my case)
3. Wires are soldered to the LED in order to understand the amount of batteries required to power it up 4. Everything is fit on the propeller and balanced out
5. How it works
So, what does the scheme tell us? Light brown color is for propeller, black - propsaver with screws, red - thick polyethylene tie, dark-brown - batteries and a black strip on the batteries for insulation. How it works: Batteries are placed in the prop crossing, a strip of thick film or polyethylene is placed above (X-Ray film in my case) and when installing the propeller, two ends of the film strip are fastened by propsavers' rubber band. Film ends are pulled apart a bit for tighter battery hold. Insulator's purpose is clear - it breaks the circuit when no flying occurs.

We get this as a result:


How it affected flying:
1. It is more convenient to fly at night, as it's unusual for the first part and there is no wind for the second.
2. As for me, it is much more convenient to fly with an illuminated propeller, because propeller's dimensions are visible, preventing it from touching the ground and both nose and flight direction are clearly visible.
3. Due to propellers' modification it became a bit heavier causing increased motor load. Observations show minor thrust decrease, motor heating is there, but you barely burn your fingers touching it.
4. No heat-up on ESC.

Afterword: Due to material and technology choice the model was not supposed to last and it didn't. Three weeks of heavy afternoon use however with 6 battery packs lasting 5 minutes each were common. I've been flying with this illuminated propeller all the time from the moment it was built until the old propsavers' rubber band torn and the propeller was lost somewhere in the night. Now I'm building the very same plane out of 4mm XPS. Plans for the future: plane and propeller illumination, active night piloting.

Respectfully, Anton

This is the translated version. You can read the original Russian article here.