The colour of your wing can make a difference in terms of visibility. Brighter coloured wings are generally more visible than darker ones. In the case of an accident in a remote place, a brighter-coloured wing could increase the chances of being spotted by the emergency services.
The most important factor in avoiding a midair collision in crowded skies is good airmanship by avoiding situations where midairs are possible and always being highly vigilant. However, there is a chance that the colour of the wing could make a difference in terms of a potential midair when in crowded skies.
The most difficult wings to spot on approach have a black or blue leading edge, which doesn’t reflect any light and blends into any dark terrain. White leading edges are also very hard to spot against the horizon or clouds.
It’s hard to identify this wing against the terrain. The small band of white on this wing helps to improve the visibility a little. Only once above the horizon are dark colours easier to see.
What’s the most visible wing in this selection?
It’s pretty obvious against this greeny-blue background. Red and orange stand out strongly, because they are complementary colours on the colour wheel (opposite side). When supported by a light leading edge (yellow) that wing becomes incandescent.
Does the colour affect the life of the fabric?
Ozone says “We are frequently asked which colours last the longest, or have the best UV resistance. All of the colours that we stock score between 4 and 5 on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest possible rating for longevity.” As you can see on their custom colour selector, most colours are available (even a rather livid pink).
Many years ago there was a problem with the stability of fluorescent colours, but manufacturing procedures have changed in recent years.
Supair warns that “the effects of aging are generally more pronounced on light colours.” This is due to the alteration (fading) of the colour over time, but the preservation of the coating layer is what determines the porosity – so take good care of your wing, especially when launching from abrasive surfaces, and keep your wing out of the sun when not in use.
In most situations the colour of the wing might not make any difference. Poor piloting can cause a midair anywhere and an orange wing out in the boonies might still not be spotted. So whether brighter colours make you safer is… a bit of a grey area.
In the end it’s up to you to decide which colour to go for, according to your personal preferences and priorities!
Check out the great range of wings on our website.
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