Wing Chapter Supplement

Installation of a Landing Light in Wing Leading Edge

By Bill Schertz,  KIS Cruiser #4045

The prototype KIS Cruiser did not have landing lights, therefore the installation is left to the individual builder. In order to provide some input for future builders, I am documenting in a "how to" description the method I used for a landing light in the wing leading edge. This modification is not in the standard KIS Manual. The information described below is strictly for the discretion of the individual builder.

I will attempt to explain some of the design considerations that entered into my choice of method of construction.

Landing Light Choice

Landing Light Location

Other Considerations/thoughts

Mounting instructions:

FIG. 1 Opening in leading edge for Landing Light

Figure 3 Landing light components shown

Fabricating the Flange

John Petrie (from South Africa) mentioned the use of "calibrated wax" to set the depth of the flanges equal to the thickness of the plexiglass cover. This technique works quite well, although there are a couple of "gotch ya’s" available. Calibrated wax is a product that comes as a sheet of wax (1/16", 1/8", etc.) with adhesive on one side. It is available from McMaster Carr in Chicago via mail order. [I bought the 1/16" sheet, and used two layers to get the 1/8" needed for the plexiglass. That way, excess material can be used for other applications where 1/16" would be the required thickness.]

Figure 7 Showing the flange and light in place

Figure 8 Illuminated!

Temperature Rise Concerns

Because of the confined nature of the light, and the fact that it dumps 55 watts of electric power into the space, I was concerned that the temperature might rise to an unacceptable level when in use. To get a handle on this, I did some experiments. I purchased an "indoor-outdoor" digital thermometer, and put the outdoor probe between the back Aluminum plate, and the fiberglass spar. Then I sealed up the lense, and turned on the taxi light bulb (they are both 55 watt bulbs). I monitored temperature with time, and the results are shown below.

After 30 minutes, the temperature rise was slowing, and I then put a small fan 28" from the leading edge, simulating a gentle breeze across the wing. You can see the effect on temperature. I feel that in actual use, with a plane moving at ~100miles per hour, that temperature will not be a problem


Time, Minutes