c. Drift Signals, Markers and Lights. These pyrotechnic devices aid in navigation of aircraft over water by providing a stationary reference point. They are also used to mark the location for emergency landing at night. The signals contain a pyrotechnic candle that ignites on impact. Floating nose down, the signals emit flame and smoke from the tail. One type of marker produces a slick on the water surface. The other types, which produce smoke and flame, are called night drift signals or aircraft float lights. Drift signals and markers are thrown overboard from an aircraft.
(1) The slick marker is for daytime use and contains a 21/4-pound cylinder of uramine, a soluble dye salt, in a brittle plastic case. The marker, although not a pyrotechnic, has a somewhat similar effect. It produces a colored film or slick on the surface of the water when the case is shattered by impact. The yellowish-green, fluorescent slick produced by the uramine is approximately 20 feet in diameter. The slick persists for at least 2 hours and can be seen 10 miles away from an altitude of 3,000 feet.
(2) Night drift signals (fig. 9-11), identified as aircraft smoke and illumination signals, produce flame and smoke which can be observed on a clear day for a distance of 6 or 7 miles. A representative signal has a flat-faced, metal tail fin assembly. The body contains from 1 to 3 candle units which burn from 180 to 900 seconds, depending on the model.
(3) The aircraft float light (fig. 9-12) provides a long-burning surface marker for night or day use. It may be thrown overboard from an aircraft or launched from wing racks. The signal contains four, 3-unit pyrotechnic candles which emit flame and smoke through a hole in the base of the body.
d. Ground Signals.
(1) Grenade-launcher ground signals (fig. 913) are projected from a grenade launcher attached to Rifle M1 or M14. A propelling charge in the signal supplements a special blank cartridge (the standard grenade cartridge) supplied with the signal, to attain the required altitude. The signal rises to a height of 600 to 700 feet before functioning.
(a) The parachute-supported star signal produces a single star that burns from 20 to 80 seconds. Different models produce amber, green, red or white stars. Candlepower and visibility vary according to the color of the star.
(b) The cluster-type star signal produces five free-falling stars, all of one color, with a burning time of 4 to 10 seconds. Different cluster models produce stars of the same colors as the single-star parachute models. Parachute and cluster signals are similar in appearance and design.
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