Aircraft lighting company produces high-intensity discharge kits for Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, and Robinson helicopters.

Whelen Aerospace Technologies (WAT) of Chester, Connecticut, develops and manufactures high-end aircraft lighting and aviation facility lighting. The company’s origins date to 1952, when George W. Whelen III invented a rotating aircraft-anticollision beacon in his garage in Deep River, Connecticut. Throughout the years, Whelen expanded his aviation safety lighting inventions and built the company to what it is today.

Originally called Whelen Engineering, the company became Whalen Aerospace Technologies in 2019 following a merger of its aviation division with LoPresti Aviation. Aeronautical engineer Roy LoPresti founded LoPresti Aviation in 1991 in Sebastian, Florida. Today, WAT operates a facility in Sebastian concentrating on HID (high-intensity discharge) taxi landing lights for rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft as well as speed-related modification products.

STCs for Lighting Modifications
As an FAA production approval holder, WAT owns hundreds of supplemental type certificates (STCs) for aircraft landing, taxi, anticollision, and position lights. The company’s composite shop also produces a wide variety of STC and parts manufacturer approval (PMA) speed modifications for numerous general aviation aircraft.

WAT operates from a large state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chester. The company’s leaders emphasize that an in-house business strategy helps streamline processes, increase quality control, and reduce turnaround times.

Key WAT aircraft products include LED and incandescent lights, landing/taxi/recognition lights, and rotating and flashing beacons. The company also produces infrared lighting, internal aircraft lighting, and airport and ground service-vehicle lighting, including light bars and work lights.

Helicopter Lighting Kits
WAT manufactures HID lighting kits for a variety of helicopters, including Airbus, Bell, Leonardo/AgustaWestland, and Robinson models. The company maintains a large customer support network, with resellers located across North and South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.

WAT maintains a vast reference library on its website that includes product catalogs, reseller STCs, FAA STC documents, installation guides, service manuals, and a system-recommendations tool to help operators identify the ideal product based on their aircraft or equipment.

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Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer

Jen Boyer is the principal of her own firm, Flying Penguin Communications. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds commercial, instrument, flight instructor, and instrument instructor ratings in helicopters and a private rating in airplanes. She has worked as a professional journalist and marketing communicator in the aviation industry since the early 1990s.