Gear September 2016

Check out the latest cool pilot stuff!

Adventure In A Bag

Inspired by the daring pilot-authors after whom they're named, the Lightspeed Adventure Flight Bag Collection pairs classic styling with modern functionality. The Gann ($249), as in Ernest K., is a carpenter-style bag that's spacious, but cabin-friendly, for the pilot who likes to carry pretty much everything. The Markham ($199, pictured), named for the extraordinary Beryl Markham, is more compact, yet still utilitarian. The bags are handmade from full-grain, oiled South American cowhide in espresso brown with contrasting black pocket flaps. Beyond the good looks, the bags incorporate features like purpose-built pockets for headsets, tablets and transceivers, and rugged, but wing-friendly textured PVC bottoms. The Gann dimensions are 16x6x13.5 inches, and the smaller Markham measures 12x5.5x9.5 inches. Both bags come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, plus a one-year limited warranty. •

Winds Aloft gear

Form meets function in the SM-18 SkyMate Wind Meter from Speedtech Instruments ($75.19). The unique pocket-knife design houses highly accurate technology, measuring average wind speed to +/--3%, current temperature and windchill to +/--2°F (+/--1°C) and wind range from 0.5 to 89 mph. Operating modes include current wind speed (average over 2 sec.), average wind speed (5, 10 or 13 sec.) and maximum wind speed (2 sec. gust since power on). Measurement units are knots, mph, kph and m/sec. Water-resistant to 3 feet, the SkyMate floats, too, and the replaceable plastic impeller won't corrode. The meter comes with an included replaceable 400-hour lithium battery and high-visibility safety yellow case. One-year warranty. •

Chilling Out

Keep it cool in the cockpit with the Arctic Air Portable Air Conditioner (30-qt., single-fan, 12-volt, $495), a more affordable option to installing an AC unit that adds weight to your aircraft all year long. The unit works by blowing ambient air across a coil cooled by ice water, then cool air is blown into the cockpit, providing a comfortable air temperature even on hot sunny days. Place Arctic Air in your plane, fill it up with ice, and plug it into the cigarette lighter. There are high and low settings, and the high setting can change the temperature by as much as 35 degrees. The flexible tubing aims the cool air where you need it. Other pluses---the fan won't interfere with the radio, the unit doesn't pull power from the engine, and no STCs are required. The drainage tube allows you to leave Arctic Air in the plane and pump the water out on to the ground. The 5-amp unit measures 17x17x10 inches, with a 14-pound empty weight and a 34-pound (approx.) full weight. The power cord is 7½ feet long. Be sure to consult your POH to find the appropriate voltage for your aircraft. •

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