Aerocet®, Inc. has received a full patent on all claims from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on their oil bath aircraft wheel design.
The patented oil bath wheel design was initiated when commercial operators highlighted the difficulties in maintenance of existing aircraft wheels on amphibious floats.
Wheels that utilize grease are messy, take time to remove and have to be maintained quite frequently. The main issue with a standard wheel is that water enters into the greased wheel cavity, especially when the hot wheels are quenched when entering into the water from a ramp. It takes very little time, especially in salt water, before the bearings will pit (even the expensive chrome ones)and the pilot is facing a potential wheel lock up on the runway (very embarrassing and expensive). Usually commercial operators running the greased bearings would purchase an extra set or two of wheels in order to reduce the change out time while performing maintenance.
Change out time is eliminated with the oil bath wheels because they are maintained in place, on the aircraft. In addition, wheel bearings last and last with proper maintenance, which only takes minutes versus hours. Alaska commercial operators are approaching 3,000 hours of heavy saltwater use without having any issues.
The patented Aerocet® oil bath wheel passed rigorous testing prior to receiving FAA TSO approval.
Aerocet®, Inc. was established in 1987 as a manufacturer specializing in composite aircraft floats. The company offers straight composite aircraft float models for water only landings, as well as amphibious aircraft floats that are for both land and water landings. The company is located in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A. and is housed in 35,000 sq. ft. of modern manufacturing facilities.