Three compact, low-cost ground power units (GPU) for experimental amateur-built and certified aircraft were recently introduced by White Lightning, an electronics company that is banking on its avionics experience and Lexington, Kentucky’s spirited “white lightning” heritage.
When plugged into an aircraft’s external power source connector, the small GPUs designed by Audio Authority provide a variety of power options that can help preserve on-board battery power before aircraft engine start procedures.
The power units provide auxiliary airframe power that is helpful during avionics demonstrations and testing; database and firmware updates; flight training and cockpit procedures training; troubleshooting; battery top-offs; and powered preflight inspections.
Sisk is building a Van’s Aircraft RV–14, and during the building process he realized that having an easy-to-use inexpensive ground power unit would be helpful to other homebuilders. “That’s what we do,” he told AOPA. “We’ve been in the problem-solving business since 1976 because we find a way to fill the need” for certain electronics.
The model M1435-EXP is designed for experimental, amateur-built aircraft with 12/14-volt electrical systems and retails for $445. Sisk said that to his knowledge, “no one has offered a ground power supply specifically for this market before.”
The M1435 is for use with most 12/14-volt certified aircraft with a three-pin connector and retails for $495. A GPU with a round “Piper” connector is available as the M1435P model.
The M2827 is designed for 24/28-volt certified aircraft and is priced at $595. Sisk said the unit provides enough current to run the flight deck of most modern piston-engine aircraft, such as Cirrus and Piper models.
The faces of the units include easy-to-see digital voltage and amperes readouts. The units measure 13.4 inches by 5.32 inches by 4.13 inches and weigh between 12 and 13 pounds.
The GPUs can be ordered through Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. and Sporty’s Pilot Shop, with deliveries expected to begin in October.