Sep 07 2011

Belly Beacon

Today’s effort was putting in the new belly beacon light and new dash panel knobs.

The Aero LED belly beacon is actually an interesting story.  At the 2010 Oshkosh airshow while taking to the owner of Aero LED I mentioned it would be nice to have a belly beacon which was also a strobe light.  The beacon would flash red (off/on) like a standard aircraft beacon, and the strobe would be synchronized with the wing strobes.  There is nothing like it on the market.  Apparently after the show Dean (the owner) decided to market the product, he designed it and at the the 2011 Oshkosh show, I purchased it and have now installed it.

This is the selected position for mounting the light

After checking the strobe on the fuselage I realized it is much too tall for my liking and I didnt like all that metal showing, so I decided to submerge it into the fuselage.

A cover plate was first constructed,

After cutting and sanding the opening, I only left about 1/16″ of the metal showing.

Here is how it looks from the inside.

After waxing and taping the light so the micro wouldnt stick, I micro’d the hole with the light in place for an exact fitting into the fuselage.  Next it was installing some hard points to mount the light.

Finally wiring and installation of the light cover.

In this case less is certainly more!  (more better looking)….

Lastly, wanted to change all the knobs so they would all look the same as the knobs on the Grand Rapids EFIS Panels.  So I ordered the knobs from GRT, made a bushing for some of the shafts due to their non-standard sizes and mounted them.

I think the change gives a more consistent look of the panel….


  • By Mike Toomey, September 8, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    Nick, I’ve been following your work on my old EZ. You do nice work, but I don’t understand the Belly Beacon. Seems like it would cancel a lot of the speed mods and dirty the air going into the prop. The beacon also seems redundant when you already have nav & strobe lights. Thanks for posting all the pictures. I sure miss her.

  • By Nick, September 9, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

    The idea of all the lighting is to heighten the visibility of the plane. It may be a bit of overkill, but the belly strobe is very bright and should help in this area. I was assured by AeroLED that the flow models on the light indicated it was very low drag. I’ll see as soon as I get the bird back into the air.

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