Sunday, 25 August 2013

Section 2 - Functional Equipment

Functional Equipment

Nightsun Search Light

The night sun, a several million-power candlelight searchlight, was acquired for use on Labradors and Voyageurs during the early 1980s, although the procurement process probably started in the 1970s. The large removable light was placed under the front nose of both the 113 and 113A. In my time, the person occupying the right spotter seat, usually a SAR Tech, usually operated the light, however a nonflying pilot also had control as necessary.

The control box in the aft cabin and cable for the Nightsun was located on the fuselage side wall immediately to the right of the forward most search blister. The box would be removed from the cabin wall and had a power cable of sufficient length so the left spotter or anyone standing in the open front upper Dutch door could use the controls. So control of the light was not limited to the right spotter.

Photo Mo Egan (Ottawa CASARA). The picture above shows the night sun control box stowed to the right of the spotter wearing the white shirt.

Because of its large size, the fully articulating light was typically removed for flight. Modelers have the option of displaying their model with or without the Nightsun or with or without the bracket. While kits of other helicopters may have a Nightsun as one of its parts , none of the H-46 or KV-17 kits I am aware of do, so the modeler is left to either rob the part from another kit or to scratch build the part.  One last note about modeling the Nightsun, one of the first lights purchased was white. While I have not included it in this document, there is also a picture of a SARCUP modified 307 wearing “Rescue/Sauvetage” titles also with a white Nightsun.

Aircraft 311 engaged in water work with the bracket but no light. DND photo.

PreSARCUP 305 (above) with a white night sun and black RESCUE titles.

PreSARCUP 301 in front of Arnprior hangar with the night sun mounted.

PreSARCUP Voyageur with bracket mounted. Red, white and blue Labradors and green Voyageurs were never equipped with the night sun.

SARCUP modified 307 with white night sun.

I think you can see that any Labrador or Voyageur painted yellow can be modeled with a night sun, although only a handful had the white version of the searchlight.

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