Sunday, April 6, 2014

Parmetheus - Gifiting LED Light to Airplanes

DateAircraftRoute of FlightTime (hours)Total Time (hours)
6 Apr 2014N21481SDC (Williamson, NY) - local flight0.81259.7

Two trips to the airport in a single day used to be rare for me, but now that Warrior 481 is hangared so close to home, such a feat is easily managed. Good thing, because I did not complete my post-flight responsibilities after returning late from a breakfast flight. At a minimum, I needed to bundle the airplane up for preheating: I had an early morning appointment the next day at Boshart Enterprises two counties over for the Warrior's annual inspection.

That evening, after dinner (sushi!), I returned to the airport in a more leisurely fashion than I left it. As much as I hated to move away from the Le Roy Airport, I really appreciate my ship being so close to home.

It was a calm night with high clouds and I decided that it made a good opportunity to test fly the new LED landing light, an aptly named Whelan "Parmetheus". I decided to upgrade to the LED after a recent failure of the old-school GE 4509 bulb (a PAR36) made for a dicey night landing at home.

I went aloft at sunset and played around in the sky until there was sufficient darkness for a good test.

Briefly, the light works great. I should have made the switch sooner.

I can only see one disadvantage of the LED light: it draws so little current that my habit of verifying a load on the ammeter during run-up is no longer a useful test for a functional landing light. I think I can live with that, particularly if the light is as durable and long lasting as claimed. With the lower current draw, I imagine that the ancient Chrysler alternator on the nose of my airplane will not have to work nearly as hard to light my way at night.