If you’ve been following my recent odyssey from twin to single, you’ll see that I’ve been enjoying the transition. After 30 years of flying twins and moving to a single, however, some things are taking more time than I anticipated.
I got my new-to-me wings last year and during the first seven-month period I was only been able to fly a few months due to time in the shop. I was able to fly during the summer months and discovered that I had a lot of reinvention to do. Things I took for granted in the twin had to be redone.
One of them was window coverings for hot, sunny days outside. The last set of window coverings which I had in my twin were probably over 20 years old and they worked perfectly. I sold those with the old plane and now needed a set for the new plane. So where to go?
So, I did what you might want to do when you’re searching for an aircraft widget and don’t know where to find it. I pulled out my well-worn Cessna Source Guide (the January issue) which we send you every year, and I looked it up. There they were: Kennon Sun Shields and Bruce’s Custom Covers. Both are excellent companies, and I’ve done business with both over the years. In this case, I chose the Kennon covers due to personal preference but either company has quality products in this area.
So I purchased a set of Kennon Sun Shields. They arrived in a box and in the box were the window covers all rolled up and stored in a portable carry bag suitable for the baggage compartment in my plane. I removed them, unrolled them and on each cover was a label saying what window they went in. Very cool, no guessing!
Check out this Hangar Tip for easy window shade installation.
The photos show them installed in the windows of various Cessnas. So how well do they work?
For those of you that live in more southern states where it truly gets hot, the difference between outside ambient temperature and the temperature on the inside of your car or plane can be huge – more than 30 degrees. Here in Wisconsin the outside temperatures mostly get into the 80s with an occasional foray into the 90s. However, the sun is intense and the interior of my car or plane can easily exceed 120 degrees.
So, you arrive at the airport at 10 am and it’s a lovely 80+ degrees outside. Drag the plane out, preflight and takeoff with your friends and arrive at 11:30 am for lunch at your favorite airport. You go into the restaurant, have a great lunch and come outside. It’s 90 degrees out and oppressive. You open the door and it’s a blistering 120 inside. Dealing with this is bad enough; think about all those expensive avionics sitting there frying. You can’t just get in, power up, open the vents and take off into the cooler air. You need to give your investment in avionics time to cool down.
Otherwise they will either fail or have temperature faults and power off. So while you’re waiting you and your friends are suffering.
This is where the window covers come in. In my plane, the interior temperature of the airplane with the covers installed was about 83 degrees. Warm to be sure, but only a few degrees above the outside ambient temp. You can get in your plane, power up and depart without worrying about your avionics or your passengers. These are an excellent purchase and they will last an entire lifetime without replacement.
Read our Hangar Tip on quick window shade installation.
The Kennon covers cost $225 and are available from a variety of sources including Knots2U, Aircraft Spruce, and others. I chose to get them directly from Kennon via their website. I recommend these covers and you should have a set, too. Don’t forget, Bruce’s has similar, high quality covers to give you a choice.