Feb 17, 2008

12 Volt heating...?

Aviatrix recently blogged about a "cigarette lighter" in her aircraft. It made me smile because though I'm a non-smoker, I installed one in my Amateur Built "Zodie" (click on the photo for a close up - I'm sure you'll spot it...)

With the variety of useful gadgets available I was pretty sure it would come in handy. For example I may one day decide to install a ventilation fan for hot weather or for clearing mist off the canopy in winter.

Or I might want to carry a pump in case I need air for a soft tire at an outlying station - or need a flash light. I could even install a solar panel to keep the batteries charged - perhaps during long periods of inactivity - like winter?

Which got me to thinking about winter flying. I don't do a lot of that right now because I don't have a cabin heater. I've been planning to install a hot water auto-type heater as my engine is a converted Honda Civic 1.5 liter CAM100. But my friend with the same aircraft didn't have very much success (i.e. heat) from his installation.

So now I'm wondering about electric heat. This could be simpler and lighter. And more effective as the heat would be applied directly to the body instead of lost in a drafty cabin where it is rapidly sucked away by the 120 miles-per-hour wind chill factor.

Motor-cycle gear apparently requires a different connector, but that's the beauty of a home-built aircraft. I can find the components at a local shop and install them myself.

While I was googling I even found what looks like a 12v fan-driven heater core if I finally decide to go back to the hot-water heat method.

Given the beautiful sunny "flying" day we had on the west coast today, it's definitely something I need to investigate.

Thanks for the ideas, Aviatrix!

1 comment:

Yishi said...

My wish is to be that smart someday.