This was a quick project based on the lightsycthe I made earlier. 

We modified a cheap 'bixler' remote control aircraft. This is readily available, can be driven like a glider or under constant power, and has plenty of room to mount extras like FPV gear or electronics. It's also very forgiving in crashes, as you can probably tell from the tape at the front. 

The LED strip is LPD8806 based, and can be found here. I'd highly recommend checking out the awesome tutorials Adafruit put up on the web showing you how to use it. I used a standard arduino, and the code is at the bottom of the page.

The code looks at a spare channel from the reciever and uses it to control the LED strip. Eventually this could be a trigger for painting photos, or changing modes, but for now just controls the speed of the rainbow's progression.

The first swoosh photo

Testing was a lot of fun, but sadly the airframe succumbed to crashes after a few tries. With a new carbon fibre strut it should be up and running again in the future.

The below pic was mostly illuminated with Tim's plane, which has a static LED pattern instead of the programmable strip. I think it crashed midway and we carried it out of the frame...

Gavin Smith,
Jan 7, 2013, 1:49 PM