ArduCopter needs life. it needs to be able to communicate with is pilot. Live information can be displayed to the pilot using colors and patterns through 1 RGB_LED. 7 easy made colors can be used to identify the state of the quadcopter. RGB_LED's can also be used as the navigational lights as well. Although this is a good idea their is a main drawback.
It is hard to see far away or in bright light, but still it would be a useful tool for the pilot and spectators.
What information and how.
The most vital information while flying is battery life. How much time is left. The APM's battery protection could be linked to the RGB_LED to display real time voltage through color. The RGB_LED starts out solid GREEN. Battery is fully charged. As the battery drains the color of the LED will fade from GREEN to YELLOW to RED, and LAST flashing rapid RED.
GREEN = Battery FULL
YELLOW = Bat. half way
RED = Bat. LOW
Blinking RED = Bat DEAD
This would through in a YELLOW Blink if not locked.
If GPS is locked no Blink
If GPS in not locked Blink YELLOW
This would add in a rapid, rapid BLUE blink.
If PPM signal is good no blink
if PPM no signal rapid, rapid BLUE blink.
Motor not armed:
Battery, GPS, and PPM status displayed
RAPID BLINKING RED / WHT while under 40% throttle
If above 40% throttle Battery, GPS, PPM, and flight mode is displayed.
Each flight mode can be assigned a color and/or pattern to identify while flying.
The Health Beacon would also make it easier to test Tx setups on the ground.
Before flight motors not armed.
Please feel free to shoot this to peaces.