Air Conditioning For LSAs

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A Charlotte company has developed a lightweight air conditioning system that could find applications in a broad range of light aircraft. Corbi Air President Ron Corbi said that when he started flying the Alto Light Sport aircraft his company represents, he immediately recognized the need. "I wanted air conditioning and I was told it wasn't available so I decided to find it myself," he told AVweb. The answer came from a Colorado company that put together a 22-pound system that will fit most light sport and experimental aircraft.

The system is all-electric and puts out 7,000 BTUs of cooling power, about the same as a medium-sized room air conditioner. It gets around the high start-up loads of a big compressor motor in a clever way. There are three small compressors that draw a total of about 30 amps at 24 or 28 volts DC. On experimentals with conventional or automotive engines that means a beefed-up alternator. On those using Rotax engines, it means a secondary alternator. Corbi said the system is available for home builders and there are some light sport OEMs looking at it as an ASTM-certified option for factory-built LSAs. Certified aircraft owners have also expressed interest and Corbi said he's looking at the potential to TSO the system for bigger aircraft.