Like all powered aircraft, helicopters operate on the principles of lift and thrust. Lift is the force that pushes the aircraft up into the sky, and thrust is the force that propels the aircraft forward. In a fixed wing aircraft, like a conventional passenger jet, lift is provided by the wings, and thrust is provided by the engines. In a helicopter however, both lift and thrust are generated by the helicopter’s main rotor.


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Every light on an aircraft has its own purpose. They can be broken down into two categories based on what it makes visible, either aircraft or pilot visibility. Lights that improve aircraft visibility are lighting systems that help make the aircraft more visible to other aircraft while in flight. Lights that improve pilot visibility are lighting systems that make it clearer for the pilot to look out the flight deck windows.


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The modernization of aircraft has seen a correlated increase in the amount of AC power systems providing the vessel its electrical capabilities. Many of these electrical systems operate solely on AC. On the other hand, lighter aircraft tend to function better when using DC systems. The model AC electrical system would be composed of an AC alternator, a system that regulates the aforementioned alternator, as well as fuses and wiring.


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Aircraft come equipped with a myriad of lights that are designed to perform different functions. Whether it be navigation, safety, improving visibility, or signaling, the lights on an aircraft are essential to its signaling communications. An aircraft’s external lighting includes navigation lights, anti-collision lights, landing lights, taxi lights, and wing lights.


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If you’ve been to an airport at night, you’ve probably noticed the array of vivid, sparkling lights as aircraft glide down the tarmac. The beaming lights on the airframe are an assortment of fixtures that each serve a specific purpose to aircraft and air traffic control. A few light assemblies that are universal to every commercial aircraft include anti-collision lights, taxi lights, and landing lights.


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