Flying Basics: Military & Commercial Aircraft External Lights

Flying Basics: Military & Commercial Aircraft External Lights

PATREON(monthly donations):
PAYPAL(one-off donations):
STREAMS(Other Members):
DISCORD: (16+ age limit)
THANK YOU TO: Mission Makers, Admin, Staff, Helpers, Donators & Viewers(without which, this could not happen) xx


  1. OsterPenPen on May 26, 2023 at 11:01 am

    The way I always remember red/green is that "Red" and "Left" both have fewer letters than "Green" and "Right".

  2. menace on May 26, 2023 at 11:08 am

    "Totally mundane and boring", yet great information and I enjoyed it. Some of those random bits of knowledge that I enjoy. I’ll be watching the flashing lights more next time to see what aircraft they are.

  3. CornBread on May 26, 2023 at 11:12 am

    *** I will ask the U.S. Department of Transportation if I can put Formation Strip Lights on my doors. 🙂

  4. Cody De la Cuba on May 26, 2023 at 11:13 am

    Hey Cap! Love the reapers’ tutorials. Recently got into DCS and you’ve helped like crazy. Feel like the F18 is a second skin now thanks to you.
    Can you and the team do a tutorial on how to create and apply skins to the planes? Specifically the Hornet. Thanks!

  5. Oliver TV on May 26, 2023 at 11:14 am

    Nice, can you please provide a link to this document? Thanks as always!

  6. Ivelin boqdjiev on May 26, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Cool one , always good to learn something new !

  7. Mojje42 on May 26, 2023 at 11:15 am

    interesting video

    now all that is missing is a toggle for switching AI planes lights on and off (they only have the on on the ground)
    ….. night time formation flying at the moment is impossible….which is a shame

  8. John Ivan Wiik on May 26, 2023 at 11:16 am

    I don’t know but I think I might be the one that suggested this topic a little back. Great info, just what I was looking for. After watching the video I had a lovely dusk to night flight, using the proper lighting settings for different parts of the flight, knowing I’m doing it the proper way. I hope other pilots follow these directions too since a lot seem to just use the lights they feel like or thinks look cool.

    It’s just a pity that DCS doesn’t take into account light settings as far as I understand it. It makes no difference to the enemy whether you have lights on or off.

  9. M Kennedy on May 26, 2023 at 11:20 am

    3 dimensional boats basically.

  10. Silens on May 26, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Wait, the Mirage doesn’t have the tail inspection/search light? I would have sworn that it does….in fact I’m sure I’ve used this before. Must go check DCS!

  11. Alex Funk on May 26, 2023 at 11:28 am

    CF-18’s also have a searchlight under the canopy on the left side of the fuselage to identify aircraft alongside

  12. john sweet on May 26, 2023 at 11:29 am

    One minor (very minor!) Point – navigation lights do not have to be fitted to the wingtip. They are strictly speaking required to be fitted to the widest non-moving part of the aircraft. For example – on helicopters or variable geometry wings the navigation lights can be fitted to the fuselage sides (though this is not always done on variable geometry aircraft – the Tornado had this (lights on the sides of the engine intakes), but the Tomcat used lights in the wing tips iirc)

  13. Bruno Saudade on May 26, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Hey guys. Just a important note about Navigation Lights. You use then also as a reference to which aircraft have the preference when two aircrafts are about to cross paths. If another aircraft is about to cross your path, coming from your Right, he have the preference. If he is coming from your left, you have the preference. You can use the Nav lights to guide you. When the aircraft is crossing you path from your right, you will see the RED nav light on his wingtip. When coming from your left, the Green one.

  14. General Ripper on May 26, 2023 at 11:34 am

    When do you turn them off? I typically off/on and fence in / fence out

  15. Abrar Khan on May 26, 2023 at 11:34 am

    Waiting for video on operation swift retort. 27 fab 2019

  16. B. C. Schmerker on May 26, 2023 at 11:36 am

    +GrimReapersAtomic *United States military aircraft have several redundant lamps not used in the civil world.* Multiple position lights in specific positions (the USN-USMC/Grumman Iron Works F-14 Series had no fewer than five port, five starboard, and six stern lights) help personnel in night identification by type. Formation lights are cyan linear lamps in specific positions on the airframe. The anticollision light switch controls synchronized strobes on the fuselage top and bottom. The Air Force uses landing and taxi lights on the nosegear. The Navy and Marine Corps use a landing light and a three-lamp AOA indexer repeater (for the shipboard landing-signals officer) on the nosegear.

  17. Cool Hand on May 26, 2023 at 11:36 am

    I know that on the mil model kits I have built, there’s a green light on the right wing tip and red on the left, also a red light on the vertical stabelizer.

  18. CaptainEnton on May 26, 2023 at 11:38 am

    I really love the Formation lights on military aircraft. How about you?

  19. angrypandaification on May 26, 2023 at 11:40 am

    Lol, so a side note about nav lights. When I was in tech school, they told us Port (the fortified wine), is red, and there are four letters in the word port and left, so… that’s how you remember Port is red… and port is left… It seems confusing but every time we had a left hand nav light burnt out, that stupid saying would keep going through my head.

    Also, about the beacons, not all of them rotate… Some do, but I’ve been on planes that use flashing LED’s for the anti collision. There’s just a LOT of them inside the unit.

  20. Ted Mullen on May 26, 2023 at 11:43 am

    One thing a lot of people don’t realize about the red/green position lights that the indicate right of way (ac/vessel on the right has the right of way). That is: if you (the observer) have the right of way, you will see a green light (go) as the other aircraft/vessel is coming from your left. When the other aircraft/vessel has the right of way, you will see a red light (stop) as it is on the right.

  21. Str|ke on May 26, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Hey Cap. Norwegian F-16s have a Floodlight on the left hand side of the nose to illuminate other aircraft during night interceptions for identification purposes.

    Also – do you know how to force AI flights to use navlights (not only during takeoff/landings)?

  22. Schweizer Luchs on May 26, 2023 at 11:47 am


  23. Jeppe Andersen on May 26, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Great info.. but where can I find that document?

  24. matchesburn on May 26, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Hey Cap, I got something I’d like you to test. Early model AIM-9s had Rollerons on the fins for maneuverability (video of how it works: meaning that as long is air is moving over it it can maneuver. What I’m wondering is if you can get a lock with an AIM-9 and then jettison the missile and have it glide to the target without igniting the rocket motor or launching it off the rails and if it would still track and (hopefully if it has enough energy) hit a target.

  25. Charles Schneider on May 26, 2023 at 11:50 am

    I dont understand. You read somebodies else written text, how is this content in any form?

  26. JesseJames38 on May 26, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Boeing 737-100 to 500 have landing lights in the flap track fairings and wing roots. Boeing 737-600 and latter have the land under the wing to body fairings and the wing root.

  27. Jason Forsyth on May 26, 2023 at 11:56 am

    I’m sorry sir, but I work at an airport. If a pilot taxied in his/her aircraft with the taxi-lights or landing lights on, we’d walk away or hold the aircraft as those lights are bright enough to blind the marshallers to what’s going on when the aircraft is moving onto/off the gate. As for the white strobe lighting, those were put in place after a series of near misses in the early days of aviation as pilots were confusing approaching aircraft with stars. Other than that, I love your videos, keep up the great work fellas.