4 August 2021
From $225 plus shipping | kennonproducts.com
Easy to fit
The cost of shipping
I’d been aware of this kind of product for a while, I mean it’s not rare to see aircraft parked with their cabins protected by interior reflective blinds. I became more interested when I parked next to a Kennon Sun Shield equipped PA32 at a deserted airfield in France. The weather was hot, and while the PA32’s interior was very pleasant, I could have made a cup of hot tea from the water bottles in my luggage bay, and probably even baked a few accompanying biscuits in there too!
After I nearly burned myself doing up the metal seat-belt buckle, I knew that I had to get myself a set, so when I got back to England I jumped on the net and ordered some from Kennon. The company has templates for most of the GA types, and after that it’s a simple matter of clicking and paying. With the current exchange rate, a set for the Cessna works out at about £160 plus shipping, but more on that sting in the tail later.
According to the website, the Sun Shields are made from ‘state of the art’ material. It looks a bit like the reflective shields you can get for cars, but feels sturdier in comparison. The full set (there’s obviously one for each window) comes rolled in a nylon carry bag that’s easy to throw in the back of the aeroplane. At just over a metre high and 230cm in diameter it’s fairly bulky, but weighs almost nothing.
Each panel has a stitched in label identifying its destination window – plus a label reminding you to remove the panel before flight. No honestly, it does. The panels are stitched around their edges (probably more ‘state of the art’ material right there!) and cut to a size that gives a fit which is sufficiently snug for it to remain in place.
The windscreen comes in two halves, and the panel for the Cessna’s rear ‘omnivision’ window has additional tables that slip behind the trim to keep it in place. Each piece also has a small ribbon tab ensuring they are easy to remove.
So what do I think of them? Put simply they are bloody great, and I now take them in preference to the full cover if I am staying for anything up to a couple of nights. The interior is kept cool, and it saves the expensive avionics from baking at gas mark 7 every time the aeroplane is out in the sun.
As I mentioned earlier, the delivery provides a bit of a sting in the tail. After I had ordered my set I got a friendly email from Kennon’s sales team… ‘Thank you for your order. There is an additional charge for shipping outside of the US. The extra charge is $150, if you approve of this charge we can go ahead and add it to your existing payment. If not we will issue a full refund.’ I took a deep breath and approved the payment – I figured that if I didn’t think about it too much and said it quickly, I could justify the $375 on the basis that it’s probably less than any single piece of avionics or trim that I might have to replace early… I still wince a bit when I think about it, but I really wouldn’t want to be without my Kennons now.