At Gallagher Aviation, we love General Aviation, just like you!
At Gallagher Aviation, we cherish General Aviation just like you. James Gallagher began flying when he was 16 and by 22 was a multi engine instrument rated commercial pilot, and a Certified Flight Instructor. James found N11GG, his late grandfather's 1960 M-35 Bonanza for sale and acquired it in 2012 after it left his family in 1994. Since then, James has been flying N11GG over 100 hours a year and hopes to teach his family how to fly it someday. James founded Gallagher Aviation to support his love for aviation and it has since turned into something much more! We are excited to be here and we speak aviation with a level of product knowledge that is unparalleled. At Gallagher Aviation, we only support products that we personally believe in and will fly behind.
This content page's intent is to provide you, the consumer, with industry leading knowledge about aircraft lighting, preheating techniques, and taking care of other critical components of your aircraft. While it may seem Beechcraft centric, it is not. We just own a Bonanza and many of our products, to include our very popular STC kits, are Beech specific. As always, if this content does not answer the specific questions you have, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].
nOT ALL led LIGHTS ARE THE SAME - 11/9/23
I get this a lot. "My aircraft is already equipped with an LED light," is a common statement from aircraft owners but they often don't know what they have. A $30 PAR-36 (measured as a 4.5" diameter) is not the same as a leading brand like Whelen. The power, lens, durability, heat sink is not the same. Over the past decade, LED technology, especially in aviation has made great advances. For example the first generation Whelen Parmetheus PAR-36 lamp only emitted 30,000 candela, and the second generation Whelen Parmetheus Plus was a 60,000 candela powered lamp. Now the third generation "G3" lamp is a 150,000 candela powered lamp. Compare that to an Amazon special that measures in Lumens, and they might emit around 20,000 candela power maximum. Additionally, LED lamps do emit heat and when they do, they start to power down to protect the circuit board. When looking at Whelen, compared to other aviation brands, they do the best at not overloading the boards while maintaining cooling capability. Just like your piston cylinders with heat sinks, LED landing and taxi lights have heat sinks or fins on the back. Whelen does the best. from our tests. Here is a photo comparing a prototype G3 LED landing light to a knock-off brand that markets that it is as good as Whelen.
Here is a prototype G3 LED landing light on our test stand. Notice how it illuminates the upsloping taxiway all the way at the end and nicely lights up between the lamp and 150 feet out.
Here is the "other guys" product... Or the "I already have an LED light," crowd. See for yourself. These are taken with the same camera, on the same tripod, same shutter, same ISO, same white balance, same aperture, etc.
Why Aircraft Lighting Matters - 10/15/22
Aircraft lighting has three reasons why it is important. The first reason, is compliance. Did you know that all aircraft have to have an approved anti-collision light and position light system for nighttime operations? "Approved," is a meaningful word here. It means that it meets an FAA TSO, which is a performance standard. An anti-collision light associated TSO is TSO-C96a while a position light system standard is TSO-C30c. Yes, even for the experimental crowd, your lighting has to meet these FAA standards if you wish to legally conduct night time operations. So, you can't go to the aviation aisle of Home Depot to pick out lighting décor that you think works best on your Glasair. Lighting requirements have evolved over the years as electrical systems became more powerful and coverage areas became more comprehensive. Often, the FAA measures light intensity for anti-collision light systems as Effective Candela Power (ECP). So you'll see our anti-collision light systems such as our LED beacon lights measures in ECP. Additionally, many anti-collision and position lights have requirements for horizontal and vertical coverage requirements, which is why you need the proper light installed in the proper position of your aircraft. If not, you risk violating these rules and more importantly, preventing other aircraft from seeing you!
The second reason and arguably a toss-up between this and the third in importance is to see. Simply and logically, you need to see where you are going. Especially at night. Gallagher Aviation carries very high powered LED and HID landing and taxi light products to help you SEE (just look at N11GG right here) to include Beechcraft STC kits that add landing lights to the main landing gear and supplemental landing lights in the wingtips. Seeing is important! Good landing and taxi lights are cheap insurance when conducting night time operations at poorly lit airfields. Imagine striking a foreign object because you got that Amazon LED special for $24.99! Not all LED lights are created equal.
Finally, the third reason is to be seen! That is what your anti-collision, position, landing, and taxi lights are for. Have you seen how many aircraft are on your tablet with ADSB? They all seem to congregate at airports too. Properly lit aircraft help other aircraft see you during day and night time visual operations. Having bright and vibrant red, green, and white position lights. With proper lighting, you can see which way aircraft are moving to in relation to their position lights. Anti-collision lights (LED strobe and beacon lights) that provide excellent contrast and are eye-catching to that student pilot turning downwind. We are huge advocates of pulse-light and wig-wag landing lights. Where ever we fly, we pulse our lights on N11GG for extra be-seen visibility for other pilots.
The bottom line is that aircraft lighting are a critical component of aircraft operation that are often neglected. With the aging aircraft fleet, we see many aircraft flying around with broken strobe, beacon, position, and landing lights. These systems help us all operate in the national airspace, and they make us look cool too!
we believe in preheating and not driving to the airport to plug our airplane in! - 11.7.22
SwitcheOn is slick, really slick. It is probably the most practical product in general aviation. How many times have you had to take that 30 minute drive in the dead of winter when it was 10 degrees out the night before to plug the engine block heater? No, you didn't do that? You left yours plugged in all winter and added and extra $50 a month to your hangar electric bill? SwitcheOn literally saves you time and money. We remember several years ago SwitcheOn approached Gallagher Aviation to help market and sell this product and we could not have been more excited. Prior to SwitcheOn, the products available to do this were just not up to the task. Shoddy workmanship, customer support, clunky functionality, messing with SIM cards. It made that 30 minute drive just look easier. SwitcheOn fixed all of that. Utilizing a smartphone controlled app you can remotely turn on electrical outlets (we call them Channels) with a flip of the button. It tells you when the Channels are on and off too. Not cool enough? You can program SwitcheOn to turn on at certain times of day, certain ambient temperatures at the hangar or tie down post, or certain days of the week. Still not impressed? $50 a year and a life time warranty! SwitcheOn support ([email protected]) answers and fixes seldom occurring problems quickly! Finally, SwitcheOn utilizes the Verizon Wireless network but you do not need a Verizon account. SwitcheOn takes care of the cellular interface while you just switch away. Verizon has the best nationwide coverage too so we have not seen any coverage issues with SwitcheOn. At Gallagher Aviation, we believe in preheating our expensive aircraft before we go flying and SwitcheOn is at the foundation of our preheating solution.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FUEL CAPS - 12/20/22
Many Beechcraft, Mooney, Twin Cessna, Aerostar, and other aircraft came equipped with Shaw fuel caps for many years. Shaw Aero Devices, Inc. was founded in 1956 designing and manufacturing a variety of aerospace components and equipment. They invented and patented safety-lock, flush mounted fuel and lightning safe caps such as the popular Shaw 416, 516, 431, 531, and Gabb series fuel caps. In 2007, Parker Aerospace acquired Shaw Aero Devices and since then, component support has waned as the General Aviation fleet has aged. Finding new components such as fuel caps, plunger handles, and other specialty parts has nearly evaporated and to manufacture new parts requires a sizable investment from Parker. Because of this, it is more important than ever to take care of what you have because these fuel caps are excellent when they work correctly.
When they are not properly maintained, they are highly susceptible to fuel contamination. Many aircraft have experienced accidents or incidents because of poorly maintained fuel caps. If you dig deep into the maintenance manual of your aircraft, it is recommended to change the Buna-N nitrile O-rings annually because they quickly break down with ozone and other environmental conditions causing them to deteriorate, raising the risk of fuel contamination. Fluorosilicone material is a relatively new polymer that is highly durable in very hot and very cold temperatures, while adding high resistance to nonpolar solvents and aggressive fluids. Early applications for fluorosilicone rubber technology came through a number of military aircraft programs, most commonly for seals exposed to fuels and hydraulic fluids. Gallagher Aviation entered the aircraft parts industry in 2016 with the packaging and sale of these military spec o-rings for Beechcraft aircraft finding commonality across several different aircraft types. Now, after thousands of kits sold, they are a must-have kit on your fuel cap. It is considered a minor alteration utilizing a standard part (because of the military specification) to the aircraft type requiring a logbook entry by an A&P mechanic. Once done, they last quite a long time. We installed fluorosilicone on our 1960 M-35 Bonanza, N11GG in 2016 and to this day, there is no deterioration in its qualities. Fuel cap o-ring kits can be purchased off our website by clicking on this link: Fluorosilicone Fuel Cap O-ring Kits Here.
Another consideration to really take care of your fuel cap is to replace the metal washer that the plunger handle rotates and opens/closes on. Over many decades, the plunger handle on your fuel cap has worn down on the metal washer with repeated open and close actions resulting in a plunger that does not quite sit flush and/or is incredibly challenging to open and close. Our partners at Marsh Brothers Aviation developed an incredibly clever patent protected AeroTough® GF (Grease-Free) non-metallic fuel cap washer with inherent self-lubricating properties. Once installed, the Marsh washer's properties wears into the metal plunger handle, filling in "peaks and valleys" of the metal with the Marsh polymer when viewed with a high powered microscope. This creates an enduring self lubricating effect that makes the plunger easy to open and close. This also helps remedy the rounding wear that has occurred from use. Owners who have converted to the Marsh AeroTough® GF washer are ecstatic with the results because they fix these problems instantly. With Parker not manufacturing new plunger handles for these legacy fuel caps at a reasonable price, it is incredibly important to take care of the ones you have now before they are too far gone. Gallagher Aviation is a proud distributor of these miracle workers and can be found in our store at this link: Marsh Brothers Aviation Products Link