Lighter Socket Port Adds USB Power to Aircraft

 - January 4, 2017, 6:18 PM
The new Guardian Avionics power port replaces existing cigarette lighter sockets and falls under FAA non-required equipment guidelines.

Guardian Avionics has unveiled a $299 USB power port that fits into the hole created for cigarette lighter sockets found in many aircraft. The new Power 250-101R Dual 2.1-Amp USB Power Supply is listed under a Guardian Avionics non-required safety enhancing equipment letter of authorization issued by the FAA and thus can be installed by an A&P mechanic as a minor alteration. No STC or Form 337 is required for installation in Part 23 airplanes and Part 27 and 29 rotorcraft.

The power port has two 2.1-amp USB slots, is protected by a 2-amp circuit breaker and is also equipped with EMI shielding to prevent radio noise. A green LED backlight helps make the port visible at night. Input voltage ranges from 9 to 48 VDC. Two countersunk screws are used to mount the power port in 0.9-inch panel openings, and Guardian also offers a 0.8-inch square faceplate for mounting elsewhere in the panel or in the passenger cabin.

“There are tens of thousands of certified general aviation aircraft currently flying in the U.S. with a factory-installed cigarette lighter in their panel,” said Guardian president Ash Vij. “More and more of the pilots flying those aircraft are using tablets and phones with apps for navigation and they need reliable and safe USB power in flight.”