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There's a yearly flight show near my location, and there's always this North American T-6 (D-FUKK): enter image description here

Today, I noticed that there's a single white light in the leading edge of the right wing, but a white and a red light in the left wing.

What's that red light for?

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    $\begingroup$ @mins and there is, but he's asking about the one on the leading edge ;) $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Sep 3, 2017 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ lol that airport code $\endgroup$
    – Pugz
    Sep 5, 2017 at 6:02

1 Answer 1

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It's the passing light. They're no longer in use.

In an era of virtually zero radar air traffic control, two planes headed for each other at high speed at night needed those [very bright] lights. They would use the right-of-way rule to stay on the 'right lane' and safely pass each other.

enter image description here
(jetphotos.com) Clearer view for D-FUKK.


enter image description here
(Code of Federal Regulations) Points (a) and (c) match the T-6.

a strong red light to warn passing airplanes displayed usually in the leading edge on an airplane flying after dark (merriam-webster).

enter image description here
(Source) Early Connie's had them in the nose (b).

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    $\begingroup$ heh... passing light. I can see the T-6 flashing its light at the Connie to get it to move out of the left lane... :) $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Sep 5, 2017 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I understand how this is different from the red/green position lights. $\endgroup$
    – zymhan
    Dec 10, 2019 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ @zymhan: It's "strong", and based on the images, it's directional, as opposed to this. So, when they saw that bright red ahead, they kept it to the left. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Dec 10, 2019 at 18:55

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