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Old 10-08-2019, 10:17 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Townsend, Montana
Posts: 3,179
Default Upgrading Landing lights

I need new landing lights but a little story & full disclosure first.....
I made a mistake in sunset time and travel time on Sunday, I was fighting headwinds and going to be 30-45min after sunset....that?s dark in the hills around our place. I haven?t flown past dusk in 13years, so made some quick calculations as I approached our mountain strip. I had dropped to 6500 where there was zero wind and pushed the power up...minutes I might need. 15 minutes from home, screaming along at 185kts, I text Kris that I was diverting up the lake to KGPI, the big airport in Kalispell. At least they have a lot of big lights for my 1st night landing in all these years, also it?d be my first night landing in Aurora. As I passed Polson (8S1), I can see the runway pretty good. Quick check the GPS, 30nm home vs 37nm to GPI. 10 minutes to at least go take a look. I make a slight left climbing turn to 7200? to ensure I?m above the ridges and also text Kris ?go park my truck at the taxiway with the lights across the runway?. 4 minutes out, I can clearly make out the saddle on the last ridge to the airpark. As I descend to 6000, I see headlights at the taxiway and also at midfield ramp. Great, I hit my PTT to turn on the runway lights....nothing try again same results check the frequency...****! But I could make out the runway. By now I?m making a teardrop into RY20...a black hole in the mountains. Aiming 1/3 way down the runway focus is on the strip of asphalt lit by truck lights. A few gusty corrections as I drop over the hill, I?m a little fast. As I get close to the runway I realize I?ve picked up a bunch of speed... 85kts over the fence. Finally wheeled it on just before midfield but was fast. Got the tail down and on the brakes....because my landing lights SUX. I can only see the pilot side RY edge due to the strobe flashes. Whew...landed 28minutes after official sunset, which is really dark in the mountains with trees. I confess I made a poor decision leaving Townsend as late as I did. Probably should have landed in Polson. My bail out was the big airport 10 minutes away was in play if I didn?t like the view.

So I?ve got 75W halogen wingtip lights. What is out there that will fit in the same door print. My Photobucket account apparently is gone do no pictures of my set up yet. But interested into good wingtip lights.
Retired Dam guy. Life is good.
Brian, N155BKsold but bought back.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:38 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,840

I am also contemplating an upgrade for my RV-6A currently equipped with 100 W halog. in each of two Duckworks leading edge lights.

Strongly considering THESE from Flyleds

I think with your tip mounted lights you can fit 2 of the single light assemblies and position them to shoot around your nav./strobe. The added benefit (since you have a tail dragger) is aiming them independently... one as a taxi light and one more straight ahead as a landing light X2 (both tips)

BTW... so happy to hear your wife is doing well and that you could get your airplane back!
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")

Last edited by rvbuilder2002 : 10-08-2019 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:59 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Townsend, Montana
Posts: 3,179

The FlyLEDs look pretty good. I'd have to do new Nav lights with those in place, but that's doable too. Thanks for the link.

Yes, Kris is doing real good, still has swallowing issues, but no cancer signs. We're both happy to have Aurora back in the hangar and a full life ahead of us.
Retired Dam guy. Life is good.
Brian, N155BKsold but bought back.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:11 AM
j-red j-red is offline
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lewes, DE
Posts: 365

I've got the FLYLED's "The Works" kit which puts three of those high output lamps in the wingtips. There are no leading edge cutouts, which made me wonder what visibility might be with the higher angle of attack that the three point position gives. I also wondered with the lights out on the sides if the wingtips would block it from shining directly in front of the plane. Fortunately, the lights are independently aimable which gives me the ability to throw light on the ground at approach without losing it all when the nose is in the air on rollout.

My experience: During the day, neighbors say it looks like a 747 is coming in to land! I just flew my night currency the other day. 4 TOL's on a grass strip with moderately effective lighting. No problem. Get down close and its lit up like day. Highly recommend the FlyLED's.
Rebuilt RV-6A N94CR
RV-8 N803DR completed, flying.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:45 AM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 13,087

I upgraded the Valkyrie to all-LED’s a couple of years ago. I had those original halogens in the wing tip cavity, and just as a data point, the Whelen light options were an easy retrofit - I think it took about a days worth of work to change the entire airplane over.

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:42 PM
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D Weisgerber D Weisgerber is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Ionia Michigan
Posts: 353

I just put 3 flybuddys LEDs in the wingtips of my RV6, I have the large opening on the wingtip (W715-1 I think) I installed them like The Works kit. I do have strobes that block maybe 10% of the inner lights. I adjusted the outer single lights as taxi lights and the inner double lights as landing lights. i bought the lights from flyboyaccessories, they're a distributor, that way I didn't have to wait for shipping from Australia.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:00 AM
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AeroLEDs AeroLEDs is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 14

Hi Brian,

Glad to see you made it home safe, and thanks for sharing. Montana mountain flying takes skill! AeroLEDs does have the AeroSunVX light for the W-715-1 wingtip fairings for the RV7. If that won't fit your wing, you might be very happy with the AeroSunMX lights which have several configuration options due to their modular design. Here?s an example installation.

For your nav lights upgrade you might consider the Pulsar NSs (NAV/ACS) or just swapping out the bulb to an LED bulb with the Polaris.

All of these can be purchased directly from Vans.

Fly safe!
AeroLEDs Sales & Support
Service/Support ? 208-850-3294 ? Mountain Time
Email ?

While we always strive to respond to private messaging in a timely fashion, for urgent requests please call or email us directly.

Be Safe. Be Seen!
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