Now Landing: The Flieger Mk. I

Posted by Enrique Muyshondt on

I'm pleased to introduce you to a new design that has been in development for quite some time, which heralds the production of a torch unlike any other previously released. Unique in form, extremely bright, and highly versatile, I present to you to the Flieger Mk. I Electric Torch.

It is, in my estimation, the best work I have been able to achieve so far, and serves as a capstone to creating electric torches for the last ten years. The main body of the torch is a unique monocoque design, cut from a single piece of material, with a bezel and tailcap to seal both ends. This results in a torch that is substantially stronger than normal, and also much more thermally efficient, in that there are no head junctures that trap heat and reduce thermal performance – allowing for a torch that runs at a higher brightness level without overheating.

The bezel and tail are shrouded, protecting both from any possible impacts, and helping to isolate the sapphire crystal lens and tailswitch mechanics from direct shock.

The design is eminently comfortable to use and hold at 25mm diameter and 117mm long, and feels like you're holding a lightsaber in your hands. It fits comfortably in your palm, and provides you with ready access to luminous power through a titanium pushbutton at the rear of the light.

  

The Flieger supports a wide range of power plants – including two CR123 primaries, two 18350 lithium cells, or a single 18650 lithium – the latter of which I’ve created special protected cells for, that allow for high output and runtime from the Flieger, while being substantially more environmentally friendly than lithium primaries. 

In a smaller torch, rechargeable batteries are non-starters, due both to the low capacity of small rechargeable cells, and to the technical requirements that such cells pose with higher starting voltages, and higher cutoff voltages, which optimizing for would destroy the very generous performance gained using lithium primaries.

In a two-cell design like the Flieger, though, the compromises are manageable, due to the higher voltages involved all around (4.2-8.4V vs. 3V), and the higher energy density afforded by the 18650 cell making it a viable power plant in its own right. Not only that, the cost of operation using rechargeable cells over the life of the battery is less than 0.2% that of lithium primaries, which makes it highly economical and ecofriendly as well.

Flieger Mk. I disassembled, showing the monocoque case design, titanium pushbutton tailcap, and prototype power cell

With the larger power plant, and consequently the larger size of the torch, I was able to do something I haven’t done in previous work: Raise the output level substantially. The LED sits behind a parabolic reflector and AR-coated sapphire crystal lens, and on top of a copper metal-core circuit board that is bonded to a thick copper heatsink that has been gold plated to maximize conductivity, with the Flieger Mk. I Light Engine installed behind it to power the torch.

The Flieger produces a maximum output of 900 lumens, with additional discrete intensities at 1, 25, 100, and 500 lumens. Runtime is generous from the 3400mAH Power Cells that have been prototyped for this design, and the torch can run for extended periods of time without overheating on all levels. And, despite this being the largest torch ever released by Muyshondt, it remains one of the smallest torches in its battery class.

The design has ended its prototype phase, and is entering production shortly. The Flieger will be available in three finishes in titanium, as well as polished aluminum bronze.

Pre-orders will open up next week on Wednesday, October 5, with production slated to wrap by early 2017. The Flieger will be available for $595 in Titanium and $550 in Aluminum Bronze, with a special pre-order rate of $525 (Titanium) and $485 (Aluminum Bronze). Questions? Contact us!

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