Are landing lights worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by Battson, Nov 18, 2012.

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  1. Nov 20, 2012 #21

    BBerson

    BBerson

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    How about a handheld landing light for emergency use? *


    *powerful LED flashlight :)
     
  2. Nov 20, 2012 #22

    SVSUSteve

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    There's also the issue of back scatter in actual IMC (not specifically pertinent here but figure I will mention it here for the sake of someone who might have to do a let down through IMC some time) which can reduce visibility. That's one reason why a lot of training for ILS operations (especially the CAT II and CAT III varieties) involves leaving the landing lights off until the runway environment is in sight.
     
  3. Nov 20, 2012 #23

    bmcj

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    Back and side scatter are why there's an on/off switch. (OK, it's not the only reason, or even the main reason, but it is there.)
     
  4. Nov 23, 2012 #24

    Dan Thomas

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    Landing lights in the cowl have a far shorter life than in the leading edge. The vibration fatigues the filament. As a mechanic that used to look after several flight school airplanes, most with the light in the cowl and a few in the wing, I was forever changing the cowl-mounted lights. If I was building an airplane I would avoid the cowl mount altogether.

    I installed several of the Whelen LED landing lights a little over a year ago. Great stuff, but not cheap yet.

    Dan
     
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  5. Nov 23, 2012 #25

    SVSUSteve

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    From what I have been told, the Aveo LED lights are much cheaper.
     
  6. Nov 24, 2012 #26

    cvairwerks

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    What I would do, while my wings were under construction, is go on and install the bay for the landing light as well as run conduit from the root to the bay and from the root to the wingtip in anticipation of installing them at a later time. Go on and install the basic frame for the landing light and the cover nutplates, but make a blind cover instead of the plex one. Gasket work is pretty easy to seal against rain intrusion. Drill the panel for the breakers and switches, but use blind covers for now. In the event you decide to add the lights, you are only down a few hours to install the wiring and light assemblies rather than weeks because you don't have to open up the wing to do the structural work and add the wiring runs. It will cost you a little bit of weight, but counter that by how much time it would take to go back and retrofit from scratch.

    Look at how Russ and Eric did theirs for some good ideas.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2012 #27

    Detego

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    I say install your 'landing lights' but don't use them! :think:
     
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  8. Nov 24, 2012 #28

    SVSUSteve

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    Yeah....what Detego said.
     
  9. Nov 25, 2012 #29

    Dan Thomas

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    Night flying is some of the nicest flying. I haven't done it for a long time, not being at the flight school anymore and have a day/VFR-only airplane now, but I really enjoyed the trips I took at night.

    Dan
     
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  10. Nov 25, 2012 #30

    bmcj

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    As far as mounting location, I've even seen one design that had landing lights mounted in the nose of the wheelpant.
     
  11. Nov 25, 2012 #31

    SVSUSteve

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    I love flying at night. The scenery is often really cool, there's usually less traffic and it's usually easier to spot. Flying at night is one of the few times where I feel any of the "magic" of flying that people talk about that makes them want to fly.
     
  12. Nov 25, 2012 #32

    Dan Thomas

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    Probably the worst possible place. Nosewheels really get the worst of it on rough ground, and they do tend to shimmy sometimes. The Cessna nosewheel pant is the one that you can' find, because they're all shaken to bits.

    Many retractables put them on the nosegear strut, well away from the moving parts.

    Dan
     
  13. Nov 26, 2012 #33

    bmcj

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    They were in the pants for the mains. I agree though that impact jarring and vibration can be worse there than in the wing.
     

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