Landing/Taxi Light Project

Last updated - 3/30/05.

I am working on putting halogen landing and taxi lights in the wing tips. I bought a 12 volt 55 watt halogen light from Home Depot for $5, and it seems to give off enough light to taxi by.

I found some 75 watt halogen lights from They also had the sockets for the halogen lights, so I ordered them both. The 75 watters are only slightly brighter than the 55 watters, but they have a more focused beam. I should probably try an auto parts store, but these seem to do the job.

I built an adjustable bracket to hold the halogen light in the wing tips. I have it attached to a piece of wood because I don't want to start drilling holes in my wingtips until I have the bracket right. Here is a few pictures of the installation for a right wing tip:

The bracket has to be adjustable left to right and up/down. Notice that the light has to protrude through the hole quite a lot on the right. This is because the cut-out in the wing tip that the light needs to attach to is swept back by an extra 20°. This allows the position lights to project back 110° in order to meed FAA lighting regulations.

This is just a prototype for now to get an idea of how the lights will fit into the wingtips. I will replace the bolts with screws and dimpled washers. I also plan to add a fiberglass hood around the light so it will look better, but that's down the road a little.

Update - 3/13/04.

I decided that the light sticking out the front will obstruct my LED position and Strobe lights, so I redesigned the bracket to hold the light behind the cutout. I like this a lot better, since it is hides everything inside the fiberglass tip, and it doesn't block anything.

The bracket is bent so that the light points inward even before tightening any screws. Obviously, the bends are not quite right, so I am making another bracket with a more exagerated bend. I will get rid of the sheet metal screws and use nutplates in the final version. Also, I think I can use a little smaller hole in the fiberglass tip.

Here's the pieces after unscrewing the front faceplate so you can change the bulb:

Update - 5/21/04.

Back in March, I cut a hole in the left wing tip for the light, and installed the light bracket, but I forgot to post the pictures.

This setup works, but as you can see in the first picture, it is slightly blocked by the inside edge of the cutout in the wing tip. I need to get the light as far out as possible to get the maximum inward angle. The light works to light-up the runway ahead, but close-in will not be as good as the DuckWorks light in the leading edge. A few more watts will help, also. I started with 55-watt halogens, which were readily available at Home Depot. Then I found some 75-watters at All Electronics. I need to go to an auto parts store and see if I can get some 100-watters.

The light bracket is held on by two screws and two springs that screw into nutplates on the bracket. This allows the light to be adjusted left/right and up/down. The bracket was actually built for three screws, but the third screw on the outside end of the bracket limited how far out I could place the bracket, so I am going to not use it. Instead, I will build a notch into the tip that will anchor the outside end of the bracket, and just use two screws for adjustment.

As with the LEDs, I'm not working on this right now, but I will when I get the wing closer to completion.

Edit 09-22-06: Well, the wings have been done for over a year. Looks like I am too lazy to finish this up. Must be waiting for the fuselage to get done.