November 2000 Issue

Warm A Chilly Cabin

An auxiliary electric heater will do the job. But not without complications.

[IMGCAP(1)] Winter flying in the northern tier is not for sissies. The ideal winter attire for occupants of my 1960s Bonanza is a pair of snowmobile pants and a t-shirt.

The stock heating system is woefully inadequate to warm a front seaterís lower extremities during below-zero operations, while the greenhouse cockpit can create shoulder-high temperatures in 70s and 80s on a sunny winterís flight. At night, the airplane is bone shatteringly cold, something thatís not unusual for those of us who fly in extremely cold conditions.

Like all single-engine piston operators, I can warm up the cockpit a bit with a roll of Duct tape, masking wing root vents and air intakes. New gaskets for the...

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