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Winter Is Coming. Is Your Aircraft’s Cabin Heater up to the Challenge?

September 30, 2015

As all too many unprepared pilots found out during this last winter’s record-breaking cold, there’s nothing as uncomfortable as getting up to altitude only to find your aircraft’s cabin combustion heater isn’t working. That’s especially true if you’re a charter operator and the folks in back are paying you.

To avoid any uncomfortable flights this year, now is the time to give your aircraft’s heater a thorough inspection and test. If there’s a problem, better to know that now while there’s still time to get it back in running condition and keep you and your passengers comfortable.

The good news is if your legacy Janitrol heater does need service you can upgrade it to a new I-Series heater from Hartzell Engine Technologies.

HET's I-Series Cabin Heater

HET’s I-Series Cabin Heater

After Hartzell acquired the iconic Janitrol aircraft heater business in 2010, we set out to improve the entire lineup. The first step was to develop a solution to a recurring FAA Airworthiness Directive on Janitrol B-Series cabin heaters. That effort resulted in the HET I-Series aircraft cabin heaters, which are adapted from the company’s military-proven Janitrol S-Series combustion heaters.

What really sets the I-Series apart from the B-Series heaters is the new-generation Inconel® combustion tube. Inconel is the same material used to manufacture jet engine turbine blades. The key benefit is that Inconel provides superior performance and longevity over ceramic-coated stainless steel in extreme temperature applications like those found inside of the cabin heater’s combustion tube.

Hartzell has conducted extensive testing to earn FAA certification for the I-Series; including testing to validate the flame pattern inside the combustion tube was properly positioned. This high-speed video clip shows a portion of that testing (note the design’s unique whirling flame pattern for effective heat transfer):


HET’s I-Series aircraft cabin heaters are FAA TSO certified and are direct replacements for both Hartzell and Janitrol branded B-series units. HET’s Service Bulletin A-101 provides FAA approved supersedure information.

The application chart on our website provides listings of aircraft eligible for the I-Series upgrade.

For operators whose current B-Series heaters are still in good working order, Hartzell offers field upgrade kits to convert the legacy units to new-generation I-Series heaters. Any shop specializing in aircraft heater repair and overhaul can accomplish the upgrade.

If you’d prefer to just swap out your current B-Series cabin heater for a new I-Series, HET stocks all of the most popular models available as factory rebuilt units on an exchange basis. Factory rebuilt exchange heaters are available from any HET distributor and are backed by a 36 month or 1,000 hour (whichever comes first) warranty.

Don’t get caught in the cold this winter – upgrade your aircraft to the HET I-Series heater.

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