Exterior Lighting :: Formation Lights
Astronics is the leader in the design and manufacture of formation navigational lighting for military aircraft, helicopters, ships, and for approach and landing guidance lighting systems.
Our 30 years of experience in satisfying unique customer lighting requirements with our fiberglass encapsulated EL lights has resulted in Astronics being a world class supplier in the EL formation lighting market. Astronics Formation Lights are capable of operating in extremely severe environments. The EL phosphor provides for a solid state device that emits a uniform luminance over its entire surface. Since EL lamps have no filaments or bulbs they do not experience catastrophic failures and are the ideal light source to withstand the extreme shock and vibration common to the rugged environment of military aircraft.
In addition to our superior EL formation lights, Astronics now has LED formation lights available for custom design.
Astronics Formation lights can be found on many fixed wing aircraft:
Also on numerous helicopters:
Visible Aviation Green
Our highly visible area light source provides excellent distance recognition and orientation clues. Fighter and Helicopter pilots utilize formation lights to safely fly in close proximity. Helicopter pilots also use these area light sources to assist them when landing in tight locations. EL lighting is preferred as it is very uniform and non irritating to the dark adapted eye.
Dual mode formation lights can be used for normal visual operations and / or NVIS viewable operations where Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) are employed. The light unit consists of an Aviation Green portion and a near infra-red portion. The near IR red emitting section of the formation light provides, to night vision aided personnel, the same benefits of our normal visible light to the naked eye. When in the covert mode individuals not wearing night vision aids cannot easily detect these light sources, however they are readily recognized through Night Vision Goggles. These light sources thus allow for a higher level of safety when operating at night in a darkened covert mode. They are also adjustable to meet operational or mission goals. In general, the larger the lit area, the more easily it can be acquired at distance.
Astronics formation lights have been used on various aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing, to mark various operational areas of the aircraft. Lights of various colors and shapes have been used to aid in identifying refueling locations and ports, refueling probes, rotor tips, wing tips as well as interior applications such as cargo hook and jump door lights.
Other color, size, location and quantity combinations have been used to aid in the identification of various land, sea and air based craft, especially in covert operations.