Does anyone remember the “Kennon Challenge?” When we introduced the Kennon Sun Shield at Oshkosh over 25 years ago we equipped one Cessna Cardinal with Kennon Sun Shields and another with Thermacon-F heat shields. The Thermacon-F was market leader at the time. Both aircraft were wired with digital thermometers. Kennon Sun Shields won the challenge and aircraft owners liked that Kennon’s didn’t require messy Velcro or suction cups to keep them in the windows. Kennon soon became the leading form of cockpit heat protection and remains so to this day.
We also tested the Kennon Sun Shield against external cabin covers. Our Sun Shields won every time. The Kennon Sun Shield is made of two sheets of highly reflective material separated by two layers of air bubbles. The shields reflect the sun before it’s they are absorbed by the interior to generate heat.
We started our business out of a garage in Temple City, California. The Kennon Sun Shield was invented by Paul Kennon Chaney. The endeavor was funded with $500 and maybe a Master Card or Visa. I didn’t quit my day job until five years later when I moved the family and all of our belongings to Sheridan, Wyoming in the back a converted school bus.
In 1991 a USAF Aerospace Engineer from the Windshield Program Office Wright-Patterson AFB was tasked with finding a solution to cockpit heat buildup in the F-15s that were deployed to the Persian Gulf. Malcolm Kelley, found our sun shields on a Beech Bonanza at the Columbus, Ohio airport.
To make a long story short, the Windshield Program Office tested and approved for DOD use, the Kennon Shield in over 30 different military aircraft. I’ve posted some of their notes that have been released to the public at http://militaryaircraftcovers.com/rkMilitarysun.html . The Kennon Sun Shield is the only form of reflective heat protection that has been approved for DOD use.
Other companies have tried to imitate our product> We’re flattered of course. But, there are some major differences. One is the fit. Kennon Sun Shields remain in place because our design has been perfected over the years.
The Kennon Sun Shield material is made for our company and made according to our specifications. It is rigid enough to hold its shape yet flexible enough to roll and store in its own storage bag. Others may look similar, but they are not Kennon’s unless you see our label. No suction cups or Velcro is needed to keep them in place; our perfect fit does not require it. Kennon Sun Shields are the only shields tested and approved for use on a wide variety of military aircraft and have protected them safely in the hottest places in the world for over twenty years!
I’m proud to say that practically every aircraft deployed has one product or another designed and manufactured by Kennon.