What’s the story on the rubber donuts in the landing gear? Does anyone other than Lord make them? The Lord parts are available only through Beech, as OEM parts, and they cost a small fortune.
The alternative FAA-PMA gear cushions (donuts) are now available from AEC. Kamran hopes and expects that the automated website ordering will be working on Monday;
My understanding is that the online ordering capability is now live, and includes a credit card option. Note that if the new online ordering capability does not work at the time you try it/need it, Kamran can accept manual orders by phone, but they will require non-card payment methods. Evidently AEC isn’t set up for card orders in their office.
Below is the parts list and AEC pricing; I have added the current RAPID pricing in red. The prices do not include shipping cost; you will have your option of preferred shipping to your location. If you are outside the USA, and as a BAC member you have purchased small parts from me before, please contact me offline if ordering from AEC is a problem for you. The magenta commentary is mine, not AEC’s. I got HTML bolding to work in this text, but not color, size, nor underscores. The color-coding and bolding probably will not show up in the mail list text either. I will CC Tim Flight, in hopes he can format this News Article on the BAC Home Page for me. If you need a formatted copy before Tim can get to it, send me the request for an email copy.
1 set, AEC-169-380003-7, 8 pieces/set, $360.00/set. (RAPID $674.26)
(Supersedes the 169-380003 basic number part. These fit all three fixed-gear legs, and the nose gear on the Model 24 retracts. Three sets (total of 24 discs) will be needed to do all three gear on the fixed-gear planes, Models 19 and 23, and associated fixed-gear variants)
1 set, AEC-169-380098-1, 8 pieces/set, $520.00/set. (RAPID $1,202.36)
(These fit the main-gear legs on the Model 24 retracts. Two sets will be needed to do both main gear on the retracts, plus one set of the -7s for the nose gear. Some sources have referred to these as 169-380098-3 or Lord J11968-10 cushions, but those are numbers that are used only on individual cushions; they do not apply to the full sets. Only full sets of eight have been available from RAPID, under the -1 part number)
2 Jo-Bolts needed per landing gear side, standard size NAS1669-6L7, $29.00 each.
(RAPID $29.78. The RAPID price on these is actually reasonable, but many owners have been paying local shops as much as $50 for these bolts. While the parts book shows one long bolt, the actual application uses two short bolts, presumably to prevent interference with the cushion stack tube. No Jo-bolts on the nose gear; just the mains.
The standard size Jo-bolt uses a hole that measures .375 to .378 inch. Oversize Jo-bolts are NAS1751-6L7, and use a hole that measures .3905 to .3935 inch. Oversize bolts are far more expensive, at $67.06 from RAPID. AEC does not plan to stock the oversize bolts. In addition to the shop manual, Beech SI0465-202 should be used as a reference while planning and carrying out this work. This SI authorizes the drilling and reaming of a second set of holes 1.25″ below the original hole. If you are using a competent shop, it may be cost-effective to drill and ream new standard-size holes, since you’d be paying for oversize reaming of worn original holes anyway. If the gear legs are not loose prior to beginning the work, standard-size bolts will probably work fine.
Shipping options: UPS-next day, UPS-second day, or UPS-Ground Method of payment for phone orders (manual orders) can be: Cashiers check (preferred because it is quicker) Money order is also acceptable Personal checks needs bank endorsement Company checks are acceptable.
We have been working with AEC on these parts for roughly three years, in hopes of improving on the ridiculous Beech pricing. AEC received their initial FAA-PMA approval for these in June of 2003, but encountered multiple conformance failures in production batches from their contracted suppliers. After several setbacks and repeated additional investment of many thousands of dollars, we now have long-needed parts at roughly half of the Beech price.
Many people have been delaying this maintenance in hopes of being able to save $1,000 or so on the job. Now they can. We have been telling AEC about the repeated parts requests, and pent-up demand for these parts. While I have no financial interest in these parts (nor in AEC), I wish to encourage everyone who needs these cushions to buy them as soon as they can. We need credibility as an organized group, if we hope to partner with AEC and other potential suppliers.
On their part, AEC can’t embark on additional projects with us if they can’t recover their initial R&D investment fairly quickly. We hope to move along with things like the Hartwell handles, plastic quadrant covers, shimmy dampers, control knobs, interior plastic, etc. AEC won’t be able to put thousands of dollars into those and similar projects, if they aren’t recovering the thousands spent on the gear cushion project. Please place your order as soon as you can.
Aviation Engineering Consultants has been trying for well over a year now, to bring these to market as FAA-PMA parts. Their site can be viewed through the Links page. Here is the latest status:
Here is the latest feedback from AEW, on the FAA-PMA gear donuts:
Updated with an AEW note as of 10/20/2004:
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 07:13:08 -0400
From: AEC Customer Service
To: ‘Bill Howard’
We have discs in for testing now. If they are compliant, we expect a
production shipment within six weeks. If not, it will be later. We
will notify you via email as soon as they are available. Thanks.
We’re waiting on a status report ourselves. I expect something next week. I hesitate to post anything until I can see the test results from our supplier. Thanks for keeping us posted.
In [email protected], “mikerellihan” wrote:
I think that AEW monitors this list, but I have sent another inquiry directly to Paul Higgins. Here is part of the last AEW status note on May 17.
Date: Mon, 17 May 2004 12:17:09 EDT
—– Original Message —–
From: AEC Customer Service
To: ‘Mike Rellihan’
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2004 10:33 AM
Subject: RE: AEC-169-380003-7 Mounting Pad Assembly
The discs are not yet available. We rejected the first lot of parts and are now waiting on samples from a second lot. We’ll announce availability as soon as we have compliant parts. Thanks for your
In [email protected], “Stephen Symosko” wrote:
What is the status of the AEC Donuts? The last posting I found was from May 2004 which stated the first lot was rejected. Any news on the second lot?
New update from AEC, posted by Mike Rellihan on November 10, 2004.
“The discs continue to be a source of frustration with the two rubber molders we are working with. Neither has been able to produce parts to our satisfaction. We will make a decision in the next two weeks to keep trying or move the production again. The bottom line is that we won’t sell them until they are delivered to our requirement. Rubber compounding is a bit of art as well as science and we’re having to balance cost against capability in order to deliver a good price on these to the customers. We are trying but still can’t set a production date. Thanks.”