Night Flight…

Put this video together to show the AeroLEDs landing and taxi light performance as well as the UMA Electroluminescent strips.

Outside: Aircraft has four SUNSPOT 36HX units. Two in RMD wingtips and two in the stock landing/taxi position. DPDT switch is set for wig-wag in flight, and steady-on for final. AeroLEDS NSPs in the wing tips, and Sunbeacon on belly and V Stab.

Inside: UMA instrument bezels, 1.5″w under the glareshield and 0.5″w under the subpanel to light the floor, flap and trim box. Color is White/Blue. There is also a red LED in the overhead that floods the cabin when on.

Progress. Polish & Illumination…


Some more good progress today… Had some friends lend a hand and we got to polishing the tops of the wings. Hit em pretty hard with Nuvite F9 as they were/are pretty rough. Polishing ain’t no joke… After the F9 pass, we still have to hit it with “C,” and then finally “S.” She’s never gonna be a 1 foot beauty, but at ten feet she sure is starting to look nice. (dreading the underside)



Also got the AeroLED Sunbeacon runnin up on the top of the vert stab along with a LED bulb in the tailcone. Its nice as it syncs with the NSPs on the tips. The vStab fairing for the light was courtesy of Willie and Stene Aviation.

AeroLEDs installed…

A pic of the Aeroled landing and taxi in the wing.


More Paint…

Got back into the paint booth and finished up the last bits of painting (ailerons and flaps.) It’s a bit more of a pain in the ass shooting base/clear, but it sure does look nice. Hung the elevators, ailerons, and RMD tips today. I scanned the artwork from my orig parts book and cut the “CESSNA” logo out of flat black vinyl for the outboard tips.

Im sold on Aeroled, and installed them all around. LED landing and taxi in the stock location, and two landing in the tips. They are nice cuz they have the wig-wag feature built in so no need for additional boxes like MaxPulse. For strobes, I installed NSPs on the tips with a Sunbeacon on the tip of the V-stab along with the belly. They are all sunc and discharge together. I’m going to look like a G-damn UFO. F-ing bright….

Next step – VG’s for the leading edge on the Sportsman.








Buttoning Up the Cone…

All finished and buttoned up from the stinger to the extended baggage. BAS tail pull is in, Aeroled Sunbeacon and tail light are in and all wiring is finished. I took the time and added closed cell foam in an 8″ band around the midsection (aft of Sta 140) as well as adding 6×6″ squares in the center of panels in the last section. Should take out most of the resonance and keep it real quiet!

Dome Light LED

Also swapped out the overhead dome light for a cool 90 degree LED bulb.  Much brighter than the OEM bulb.





On the C170, I had swapped all the old school bulbs for LEDs, and in the continuing pursuit of “all things LED,” today’s quick task was to swap out the overhead panel light with an LED bulb.

For the C170, I ordered all my LED’s  I’ve had great luck with these bulbs thus far, and will continue to do so for the C180.


Why LED?  First off they are much brighter.  Second, they use way less power, and the combination of the two makes it a no brainer.

There are some limitations with LEDs, the biggest of which is how the light is emitted.  In a traditional bulb, the glowing fiber of the tungsten filament throws light 360 degrees.  This, along with the warm yellow glow is one of the things that makes it such a nice looking light.  The LED on the other hand tends to be much cooler (blue rather than yellow.)  The LED light also comes out in just one direction rather than spilling everywhere like a incandescent bulb.




Think of it like a candle flame versus a flashlight.   In the flashlight, the light has to be pointed at where you want to look while the candle flame spills willie-nillie all over the room.  In order to counter this flaw and for an LED bulb to throw light in many directions, many individual didoes are needed.


The swap for the overhead panel light on the C180 was easy.  I just looked up the P/N for the OEM bulb, and then ordered the same in LED.  What I didn’t know was whether I should order red or white.  The overhead fixture has a red lens in front of the old incandescent bulb which filtered out everything but the red light.  I obviously wanted the brightest light possible, but didnt know if that would come from the bright white, (in which case most of the light would be lost in the filter) or with a red light from the beginning.

I’m sure smarter people than I have already figured this out, but since I wasn’t sure, I just ordered both the damn bulbs and did an old fashion “seeing is believing” test.

In short, I shut off the hanger lights and tried em both…  Net net: The red LED was much brighter.

What I ordered:


One Step Closer…


Got some good work done on the bird today.  (And I finally got to go fly her!)

We got the Rosen visors in today.  If you havent done the install, its really damn easy.  Two holes in each side, rivnut, and your off.  Truth be told, whats really hard is holding myself back from ripping everything out.  In peeling the headliner back I got a good peek at all the fiberglass insulation and the glue underneath.  Ugh… What I really wanted to do is just toss it all, but I have to try to show some restraint so I can fly it for a while.




Also was able to swap the map lights with LED’s.  Basically you pull the torpedo light apart, add the LED bulb, then fab a PVC shroud for the snout.  There is a good post on the International 170 board on this mod.  Works really well and is damn bright.




Also got a chance to add some fire extinguishers to the seats.  These are pretty light and real easy to get to in the cockpit.


Finally I added some “NO PUSH” stickers on the horiz and vert stabs.  Gotta keep those line guys away from reefing on those surfaces…