Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

Duckworks Landing Light Mounts

11 Sep 2011

At Oshkosh this year, we ordered a pair of Duckworks Aviation landing light mounting kits to install in the outboard leading edges of the wings. The Duckworks kits (with a variety of different lighting systems installed inside) are a common mod which can be seen on many Van’s RV aircraft.

Duckworks Landing Light Kit Duckworks Landing Light Kit

We ordered the round “installation-only” kit with a 4” circular PAR 36 form factor cutout to accommodate the AeroLEDs SunSpot 36 landing lights we decided upon.

Measuring with the Template Measuring with the Template

The Duckworks mounting kit comes with good instructions, pictures and templates. We found it is most important to measure correctly and keep everything square with the outboard edge of the skin.

Cutting with the Dremel Cutting with the Dremel

Rather than use a metal tape to measure as shown in the picture in the instructions, we found a cloth measuring tape conforms better to the curve on the leading edge and is more accurate.

Rough Cut Rough Cut

Once the template is taped in position, mark the cutout and square up the lines with a carpenter’s square from the outboard edge.

Scotchbrite Wheel on the Dremel Scotchbrite Wheel on the Dremel

For the cutout, on the first wing we tried drilling a series of holes around the cutout line and then using a Dremel tool cutting disc to cut between the holes. On the second wing we used only the Dremel tool, cutting as close to the line as possible. This method worked fine and left less to clean up. After making both cuts we used a 1” Dremel scotchbrite wheel to finalize the holes.

Finished Cut Finished Cut

We also used the Dremel cutting disc to cut the plexi lenses to the size and shape recommended in the instructions. The instructions recommended using a band saw but the cutting disc worked well and allowed keeping the lens stationary on a soft surface.

Drilling the Plexi Drilling the Plexi

Cleanup with a file was minimal. Using the tape strap to pull the lens into position for drilling worked great. We used regular drill bits and a countersink in a slow drill to make the holes and they worked fine.

Duct Tape Holds the Lens in Position Duct Tape Holds the Lens in Position

The trick seemed to be to keep the speed low so the plexi didn’t get hot. When installed, the fit was as good as any we saw at Oshkosh.

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