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View Full Version : Installing Whelen strobes lights on a PA22



michaelheit
11-30-2010, 12:42 PM
Has anyone here installed the Whelen strobe position lights on a PA22 before? I have a restoration project I'd like to use them on with the original Piper wingtip standoffs but am overwhelemed with information on all the different systems they offer. I've contacted Whelen and it seems that everyone who can answer my questions there is on vacation.

Aircraft Spruce has some info but the details on using he original stand offs is not part of their database.

Thank you very much for any help you can give me.

Michel Heit A&P IA rmrlpfm@centuryel.net

Rick-CAS
11-30-2010, 12:59 PM
I have installed the basic three strobe light system on a Tri-Pacer and a couple of others. The standard Piper mounts work well for the wings. The rudder will need the tail light mount opened up to accept the tail light/strobe light combo light. You will not meet the required light coverage with just the wing strobes unless you already have a beacon or strobe mounted on the belly or top of the rudder. I like the tail light/strobe light unit since it is the least trouble to install and complies with the required coverage. The power supply can be installed any place in the fuselage that you can get to it.

sdemeyer
11-30-2010, 01:00 PM
I have a complete set of Whelen strobe/position lights destined for my Pacer. After looking at the location and length of the standoffs, it is apparent they are too far forward on my round tip wings to give the required visibility.

michaelheit
11-30-2010, 02:45 PM
Do you still plan to use the system? Which model of Whelen did you use??


I have a complete set of Whelen strobe/position lights destined for my Pacer. After looking at the location and length of the standoffs, it is apparent they are too far forward on my round tip wings to give the required visibility.

NHPacerPilot
11-30-2010, 02:49 PM
There is another post called beacons and strobes for more information in this section. Here is a useful link for information from Whelen.

http://www.whelen.com/_AVIATION/catalog/Anit-Collision%20Systems.pdf

Hope this helps.

michaelheit
11-30-2010, 02:49 PM
There is a top mounted strobe that was installed years ago, what we are interested in is the wing tip position lights with strobes. I am not certain which Whelen model to use? I see a photo of them mounted on the Whelen catalogue page but no indication of the faring used or the model number for installatiton. I thought it would be nice to use the original mounting farings with the Whelen strobe/position lights mounted inside the farings. I'm thinking the remote power supply where bpth wings could be wired into one power supply mounted inside the cabina area maybe on the back side of the fire wall ... ??

Deermining hte correct part number, etc is the trick.

sdemeyer
11-30-2010, 03:26 PM
I don't know the model # off the top of my head. My set does have one remote power supply, powering both left and right assemblies. I have not decided yet if I am going to install, though I did run new wiring in anticipation. If I do, I would need to obtain/fabricate new standoffs because new strobes/nav lights are slightly larger than the original nav only lights. I'm in the same boat as you. I don't know if they can be legally used on my Pacer. I happened to come across them on Barnstormers and I couldn't pass up the deal. They look official :)

michaelheit
11-30-2010, 04:39 PM
Thank you. I have a call into the Whelen Engineering team and hopefully they can give me more information on the installation. My primary concern using the original standoffs would be the need for an field approval if the STC doesn't cover that type of install. I did see an installation on what appears to be a short wing Piper wingtip, and a translucent type of stand off; maybe an after market or a Whelen supplied part?

When I hear from them I'll post the info here ... keep warm, God bless.

Mike

luvcubs
12-18-2010, 08:04 PM
FAR 23.1401 allows solid angles of obstructed visibility of .5 steradians for anticollision lights. The greatest angle of obstructed visibility on dual wing mounted shortwing strobes would be directly behind the aircraft. It is essentially the thickness of the wing bow area, which is less than the allowed .5 steradian.

Bob Mac
12-18-2010, 10:17 PM
Set of Whelen wingtip strobes came with the basket case PA-22/20 that I am currently working on. The housings appear to be identical to those of the original wing tip nav lights and will acommodate both the strobes and conventional nav lights together. I have mounted the power supply in the aft part of the baggage compartment. I have as did "Luvcubs", calculated that I don't need a tail strobe. But I AM going to install a tail light because I can envision situations where I want the strobes off.(Such as taxiing around the airport at night.)

tferraro
12-18-2010, 10:47 PM
If your looking for a place to mount the Whelen strobe power supply, it can be mouted under the pilot seat with no problem, no real CG impact, and doesn't take up any space in the baggage area.

luvcubs
12-19-2010, 12:00 AM
Bob, not sure whether you are referring to a tail strobe or just a nav light, but a tail nav light is still required by FAR's.

Steve Pierce
12-19-2010, 11:20 AM
There is a Whelen A500 combination tail light/strobe that with a little opening of the hole willfit in the stock taillight socket on the Piper rudder and give you the full 360 view of strobes.

Fliermike45
05-26-2011, 09:10 AM
Any advice on what Piper installed on the Colt to meet the Anti Collision light requirements?
There is a short tube rising vertically out of the rudder, was a light unit mounted there?
Type? Model? etc etc.
Thanks

andya
05-26-2011, 10:55 AM
Any advice on what Piper installed on the Colt to meet the Anti Collision light requirements?
There is a short tube rising vertically out of the rudder, was a light unit mounted there?
Type? Model? etc etc.
Thanks

Yes, thats what they did, tripacer also

JohnW
05-26-2011, 11:03 AM
The last Colt (1964 model) was built "prior to" the "present day requirement(s)" for anti-collision lighting, so Piper was never "on the hook" for meeting those requirements. The "knobbie" on top of the rudder post was a carryover from WAY earlier days -like the Clipper- when the "old style" (Grimes) "free-standing, teardrop" nav lights were standard. That is what the white "rear light" freestood on. The reason that it "continued on being there" after the "rear rudder tube embedded" Grimes nav light socket became vogue was that Grimes (and several other manufacturers) made "beacons" that mounted to this stub with a single hole drilled and a 10-32 bolt or screw through the whole shebang. There was (and actually, still "is") available what was known as "the Whittaker Mount" which was a fat, bulbous (but very light and streamlined) fibreglas "fairing" that took the flat shape of the rudder skin sides and transformed it into a 4 inch (plus or minus...) round base for a beacon (a beacon, for those WhipperSnappers not perfectly clear about the evolution of anti-collision lights, began life as a fixed incandescent bulb (or maybe even a CANDLE, or Acetylene Lamp!!???!!) with a rotating "reflector" that "focused" the light into a beam that was projected off into the space surrounding the unit (as in a Lighthouse built on a jetty near a coastline...) as the reflector turned, and served to "block off" the stationary bulb when it had it's "backside" between you and the bulb, giving the EFFECT of seeing a "blinking light".

NOWADAYS, "simply the best you can get" is WAY more than satisfactory...it's the Whelen tail light strobe. You remove the age-old (second-generation) Grimes nav light that Piper used -found at about shin height on the rear edge of the rudder (or, lying in wait to give you a black eye, if your nose wheel is still in the same [wrong] place) and the Whelen tail strobe fixture (which also contains the white nav light AS WELL AS the strobe unit) [allegedly] slides right in to replace the Grimes. I say "allegedly" because in about 8 out of ten installations, a little "half-round file action" (or judicious control over a die grinder with a burr installed) will be found necessary due to the fact that the Whelen unit is "sized" for the slightly oversized specification diameter that was used for the Grimes. This is "nothing much", and definitely not a show stopper...the "no-go fit" is just caused by a slight "tolerance" issue,; when the hole in the mount is at the "small side" of limits and the Whelen strobe body is RIGHT AT the called-for dimension (or any little silly millimeter MORE) then the unit will not slide into the rudder mount fixture. Sometimes, if the FABRIC was rather carelessly lapped "around and into" the fixture (which is totally unnecessary for "safety") that is all that needs attention (as in, a little X-Acto knife carving).

If you are looking to actually meet ALL the Part 21 requirements (and again, the Colt was among the last of the CAR3-built airplanes, and PRE Part 21 requirements, so it only has to meet THOSE...but then again, "see and avoid" is really a cool idea, especially when YOU are the one crawling around at 100 knots at night on a ten mile straight-in approach!) then what you are after is the Whelen THREE LIGHT system, where the rudder light is INCLUDED along with one each RH and LH wingtip strobes, which similarly replace each of the nav lights inside the "already installed" Grimes tip light fixtures. If you are "just" looking for a tail strobe so dat ya don't get overtooken from behind, there is a "single unit power supply" that will power only the rudder strobe (uh, not so much, eh? If you gonna go "safe", go 3 pos and be "all the way safe"). The "single, three unit" and/or available "single unit" power supply(s) are "remote mounted" and cabling is run to the strobe head(s).

Whelen also sells a "rudder post strobe" (with remote power supply) with a red, white, or half red AND half white lens available. This would technically meet the "beacon anti-collision light" "requirements" of certain controlled airspace(s). The "Whittaker mount" is NOT part of the Whelen "kit", and is not actualy "required" to make the installation. It looks a little "stark" without the fairing, but hey...if your into function over form, that is one way to go. Get yourself an Aircraft Spruce & Specialty catalog (if'n you don't already have one!) and get another copy for the Main Office, in your home. It's a Mini-College Course on stuff like this.

Quite a LARGE number of those "little stubs on the rudder top" have gone the way of the Woogie over the last four decades, with "restorers" die-grinding them off (to make them look like the original sweet, sleek, unemcumbered Vagabond rudders, an airplane which with NO electrical system, needed NO PLACE to mount a nav light!). Since Whelen came up with the "butt plug" strobe head and the Comet Flash System (which triggers each strobe head FOUR TIMES in about 6 one-hundredths of a second and makes the strobe "flash" look about 30 feet long at 100 kts) the nude stub on the top of the rudder hinge line has become a vestigial organ. Surprised to hear you still GOT ONE! How you would EVER get a new wire "up through to there" without recovering the rudder to accomplish it is a conundrum I am pleased I do NOT have to personally contemplate...getting the cable in to the "shin-high" nav light mount is at least "doable" (albeit, still a puzzlement. Just remember, "others HAVE gone before you and succeeded without recovering the rudder")!

Fliermike45
05-26-2011, 06:19 PM
John,
Thank you for your very interesting note.
All is noted, now I have to decide if I want to night fly and also spend a ton of money on strobes.
Thanks again

pa20
05-28-2011, 12:38 AM
There is a Whelen A500 combination tail light/strobe that with a little opening of the hole willfit in the stock taillight socket on the Piper rudder and give you the full 360 view of strobes.
I am in the process of modifying my older two wingtip strobe system to the three strobe CF system. I was disappointed to find that I will have to work over the receptacle for the tail nav/strobe, but I really want the visibility! When my PA-20 was restored, the beacon was not installed (yeah..I know! But it is what it is!) and I want to be noticeable when on the ground and from behind in the air.
The other improvement on the newer system, is the strobes seem to have a brighter flash and the lenses have a magnification. I hooked them up on the bench, and it took me 10 minutes to stop seeing spots!

With regard to mounting, I too considered putting the power pack under the pilot's front seat. However, it appears that it will all but eliminate any place for a rear seat pax to put their feet. And, then there is the possibility of someone jamming their feet under the seat and breaking wires/plugs. I have not looked yet, but I am hoping to build a platform behind the rear bulkhead and mount it there. Does anyone have another possible location?