But when it comes to cutting back glare and damaging UV rays over a large area in the cockpit and cabin, a new product—Jet Shades—fills the bill. Jet Shades are tinted, shatterproof, optical quality polycarbonate panels that press into place at the upper edges of cockpit and passenger windows. And yet, the shades do not touch window surfaces.
The Jet Shades company says that the panels are FAA-approved and don’t require an STC (supplemental type certificate) to install. The company also asserts that its shades block 99.9 percent of ultraviolet radiation and 70 percent of solar glare. Panels can be ordered for cockpit windshields alone, or in packages that includes both cockpit and cabin shades. For older aircraft types, or those having window frames that do not fit Jet Shades’ standard shapes, dealers can custom-fit the shades so they’ll conform.
I had a chance to experience Jet Shades in a recent severe-clear flight over the Nevada desert. The Tecnam P2012 was fitted out with Jet Shades all around, which toned down glare through the entire cabin, and cut glare in the cockpit by a noticeable amount—reducing reflections on the airplane’s Garmin G1000NXi display panels, while also helping to keep cabin temperatures under control. They’re unobtrusive and do their work on an almost subliminal level. If you flew with them on one flight, then removed them, you’d certainly notice the difference.
Jet Shades can be ordered for a wide range of aircraft, from piston singles to turboprop twins and light jets. Prices range from $429 (for, say, windshields of Cessna 182, 206, and 210 models) to $3,999 (for a King Air 350’s cockpit and cabin windows). <[email protected]<> </[email protected]<>
By Dave Hirschman
As the capability and integration of modern avionics has increased, so has the complexity of installing the electronics and getting the boxes to communicate with each other.
In response, Dynon Avionics has begun a FastTrack product line that allows experimental aircraft builders to buy pre-wired avionics with harnesses, mounting trays, and brackets ready to install in their aircraft.
The move is meant to speed avionics installations and avoid errors. It also promises to reduce shop time at specialty avionics firms, many of which are facing long backlogs.
“For builders that want to take to the sky as fast as possible, the flagship FastTrack Essentials packages include modules, brackets, and network cables already pre-assembled and connected, ready to rivet to the panel,” said Michael Schofield, Dynon marketing director.
Retail prices for FastTrack Essentials packages are $1,995 for VFR panels and $2,565 for IFR versions.
22 Flying Days to Remember
If you enjoy AOPA Pilot magazine’s “Never Again” column about lessons learned from flying mishaps, you’ll enjoy Robert Burke’s self-published 22 Flying Days to Remember. Beginning with a flight in 1956 that encounters a thunderstorm to a 1997 flight in Fort Worth when the altitude is in question, Burke unabashedly admits to errors in judgment—his and others—over his 45-year corporate jet career. “I’ve done my best to depict events as I witnessed or understood them, and to describe them accurately,” he writes. “Very few were life-threatening, but were troublesome.” —Julie Summers Walker
What did you do during the pandemic? Author and pilot Samuel Don Smith used the lockdown to write more than 400 pages of personal stories, aviation history, and reflections on aviation safety in Aeromorphosis, a memoir of his life from student pilot to U.S. Air Force fighter pilot to airline captain. Amusing, critical, and revealing, his storytelling chronicles the history of aviation, his own, and the world’s. —JSW
aeromorphosis.com or amazon.com
Price: $33.95 (hard cover)