It’s been a little bit since I’ve been able to work on my plane – work has been busy (including an overnight trip), but I’ve also been taking advantage of the nice weather lately, doing some outdoors stuff like biking, hiking & pool days.
I spent about an hour last night prepping the rudder, as shown above. Removing wrap, deburring, cleaning, etc. I’ll get the parts primed and then assemble it this weekend. For now I’m leaving the fiberglass cap off, since I haven’t yet decided on which lighting system I’m going with.
The choices I’ve narrowed down to are:
Avio Lights Navigator Ultra 360 (wings) + Red Eye (VS/rudder), about $600 delivered from Poland
I’m leaning towards the third option. Price seems better than Aveo, and has synchronization features like the Aveo but even slightly more advanced. The similarly-named Avio lights don’t synchronize, and right now don’t comply with the anti-collision lightning requirements for angular coverage, but I’ve contacted the manufacturer and they tell me they are releasing an updated version soon that addresses both of these issues. Nonetheless, I’m holding off on making a choice for now. I’m going to Oshkosh this summer so I figure I’d take a closer look at options at the show.
I know Whelen is a pretty big name in aviation lighting, but they don’t have a good product option for the top of the rudder. TAF’s chosen location for the tail light – at the top of the rudder – is a little different compared to other designs. It’s really only suitable to put a recognition light there (aka beacon), because all the small, LED-based position lights/strobes I’ve found are designed to be installed aft-facing on the back of the rudder (or tail fairing), not on top. Whelen does make recognition strobes for this application, but they’re honking huge!
In other news, I also received my second rivet gun last week, so now I’m ready to tackle both sizes of rivets more quickly!