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1945 - two new small landing lamps provide private peacetime aircraft eyes for night flying


CD 1964029 E&MP26.015

Electric Light

Sept. - 1945

Two small editions of landing lamps similar to those perfected by G.E. for Allied war planes have been developed to provide private peacetime aircraft with suitable “eyes” for night flying, it was announced here today by G.E. Lamp Department at Nela Park.

The smaller lamp has been designated as G.E. Landing Lamp No. 4509; the larger as No. 4537.

Each is an all-glass hermetically sealed and self-reflecting unit similar in principle to that of the familiar Sealed Beam headlamps developed by Nela Park engineers for the modern automobiles. Cover glass or “face” of each new lamp is clear glass

The new lamps provide a wealth of controlled light of high maintenance throughout the lamps’ life. Each unit is rated at 100 watts.

The small landing lamp, only 4½ inches in diameter, produces a maximum beam rated at approximately 100,000 candlepower. It is intended for use on relatively small “personal aircraft” of the single and two-seater type.

The larger lamp, 5-¾ inches in diameter, produces a maximum beam rated at approximately 200,000 candlepower. It is designed for use on cabin-type planes seating four to eight passengers. Cover glass of this unit has an almost flat surface conducive to use in retractable landing light gear.

Required amounts of light from landing lamps, Nela Park engineers point out, vary with the different landing speeds of a wide range of aircraft. The slower the landing speed, they say, the less is the amount of light needed for the purpose.

Recent tests conducted by a G-E pilot using the new G-E landing lamps indicate satisfactory performance when they are used in pairs. Civil Aeronautics Administration has yet to establish final specifications for this type of landing lamp.

Both new lamps were developed by G.E. in anticipation of private plane manufacturers’ desire for powerful all-glass landing lamps of the smallest possible diameters. That desire has zoomed since the cessation of the war.

Production diagram for the new lamps will probably be several steps in advance of production growth in personal plane manufacture.  

Original Caption by Science Service
©General Electric

National Museum of American History


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