Navigation Lights on Rotor Lift Drones

As a pilot, I have been both amused and concerned about an obvious error on a pro-sumer four rotor drone that had the red and green navigation lights oriented fore and aft instead of the normal port and starbard, and a white light aft.  But then it struck me:  The navigation lights don’t really work for such drones, as we pilots use them to determine the direction of travel of aircraft in low visibilty (e.g. night).  But a rotor lift drone could be moving in ANY direction relative to its airframe, unlike airplanes and helicoptors.

So, I have a suggestion for such aircraft, that they include tricolored lights at every rotor.  The direction of travel would determine which color is illuminated, with red to port, green to starbard, and YELLOW to aft.  I suggest yellow because many aircraft include “landing lights”, including my own airplanes, which we leave on for perpescuity, just as cars on the road now leave headlights on during the day.  Drones will also likely need to use bright white lights for night flight operations such as news gathering or search and rescue, to illuminate the scene for the on board cameras.  Using yellow lights will reduce the confusion between aft and whatever direction the camera illumination light is coming from.

Obviously, for all operations, strobes will also be used on the drone, as are required on most conventional aircraft today.

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