Many parts of an aging airplane can be refreshed with components that provide benefits ranging from cosmetic to utilitarian, from reducing drag to improving performance.
Knots 2U of Burlington, Wisconsin, has outfitted our 1978 Cessna 172 with several products from its extensive catalogue. Knots 2U carries about 1,100 different items with parts manufacturer approval, as well as another few thousand products manufactured by other companies.
With a discerning eye, you might be able to pick out replacement parts on our Sweepstakes 172 from fore to aft. Knots 2U’s hallmark is that its parts are designed to look as though they came from the factory and are not an aftermarket afterthought.
Start at the wings and you’ll notice the company’s popular replacement wing tips with position lights. Whelen, of Chester, Connecticut, supplied light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Knots 2U President John Bailey said aircraft owners like these because they improve the airplane’s visibility.
Moving on, our Sweepstakes 172 also has a replacement dorsal fairing, four strut fairings, a vertical fin tip, a stabilizer tip, left and right tips for the elevator, a rudder cap, and a rudder butt tip.
Knots 2U’s founder Jim Bradshaw started out with speed modifications for a Piper Twin Comanche. He expanded the business to include single-engine Comanches, Cherokees, Arrows, Lances, and Senecas, as well as Beechcraft Bonanzas and Barons. The company now offers modifications and parts for many makes and models, including Cessnas, Mooneys, Van’s RVs, and more.
Bailey, who began working with Knots 2U in 1990, purchased the company in 2009. He said the Piper and Cessna direct replacement parts are among the most popular products. Knots 2U has more than 90 STCed modifications and more than 40,000 kits installed in aircraft around the world.