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Western Canada Wing
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Glareshield Integral Lighting

John Allen (fliier@onebox.com)

I elected to install a fiberglass glareshield in my RV-6A.  I did this because I wanted the look of a padded glareshield, and because I wanted a removable means of attaching overhead lighting.

To do this I used the existing aluminum skin as a mold for the fiberglass.  I installed the skin on the fuselage with clecos (with a couple of low profile screws under the fiberglass layup).  I used just 3 or 4 layers of glass to allow for flexibility in the finished product.  (Remember the mold release.)

I then trimmed both the fiberglass glareshield and the skin to make the intersection of the two fair neatly into each other.  The finished aluminum is no less than 1 from the panel in the center, and of course much wider at the sides to fit the windscreen appropriately.
For lighting I used flexible lighting strips (like light bulbs in vinyl tubing) from JC Whitney.  I bent a very thin and lightweight piece of aluminum angle with my shrinker tool to fit the inside curve of the glareshield and used double sided sticky foam to adhere the lights to the inside of the angle.

On top of the glareshield I used vinyl I purchased from a auto upholstery shop over a layer of very thin foam.  I also purchased some edge stripping from them, which just snaps onto the edge of the glareshield and makes a nice finish.  Contact cement was used to glue the vinyl and foam to the glareshield.

The glareshield itself is attached to the airframe with rivnuts.

The system is powered by a 5amp solid state system from Aeroelectric Connection.

The end result was a very good lighting effect, except for the A/I and D/G.  Both of these instruments have pointers at the very top of the instrument which are shadowed in the overhead lighting.  For these two instruments I used Whelen post lights driven from the same power source.

It was an interesting experiment that achieved the desired lighting effect and attractiveness at the expense of additional weight and time.


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