The wheels are installed on my 2200 Zenair Floats and I have a few landings on them. My impression so far is two thumbs way up!!! They look like real brutes, but are nice and smooth taxiing and rolling out. With those two big AN bolts taking the load, they are a huge improvement over my previous set-up. I really don't anticipate any issues with these; will soon be landing on some smooth local grass strips. I think you guys nailed the problem, and I gotta say again how much I appreciate the time, effort and $$$ you guys spent addressing my issues. Russ S. (July 2012)
1700#, 2200#, 2500# Zenair Floats
Main wheel tires are MASSIVE at 18.5" diameter and 600x6 wheel hubs are used for all these float sizes. Nose wheel tire is 10" in diameter. The design loads for the 2500# floats were based on FAR23, so the lighter floats (i.e. the 2200#) are overbuilt and extra tough. Performances, rigging, etc. are very similar to typical certified floats.
Features that make Zenair floats outstanding include: wheels and gear size, light weight aluminum construction, easy assembly....and yes, they are remarkably affordable!
- Lightweight and very strong
- 6061-T6 aluminum - Top skin thickness is 0.032", and bottom front skin thickness is 0.040".
- All bulkheads are made of 0.032" 6161-T6 aluminum
- 3/4"x3/4"x1/8" extrusions are riveted to the bottom sides of the floats. Same extrusions are also riveted to the center of the front bottom skins.
- Top walkway area is +8.5" wide making it easy to walk on the floats.
- Fiberglass tips
- Extruded aluminum keel
- Easy to install spreader bar system for floats
- Use of a 3M Marine Adhesive Sealer seals the floats but also adds to overall strength
- Option of using a special sealed Stainless Steel pull rivet or standard solid rivets. However, in both cases, standard solid rivets are used on the extrusions and keel so as to maximize strength.
Amphibious nose wheel details:
- Free castering wheel.
- Heavy duty 2"x2" extruded aluminum arm moves the wheels up & down.
- Grease fittings installed at wheel rotating system and at axle for low wear.
- Nose wheel hubs are sealed bearings and treated aluminum.
- Tires are extra large at 10” diameter.
- Stainless steel hydraulic cylinders moves the wheels up & down
- 600x6 heavy duty hub with brakes.
- Tire used is extra large at 18.5” diameter, making it the best floats for grass strip landings.
- Hub system is anodized A356 aluminum.
- Watertight lip seals are used in place of normal felt seals.
- Grease retainer installed between wheel halves.
- Mechanical system locks wheels in the down position and therefore does not stress the hydraulic system on hard landings.
- Hydraulic cylinders moves the wheels up & down.
- Gear system is connected to 2 bulkheads for extra strength. Bulkheads are 0.032 thick aluminum and reinforced with 11/2"x1"x1/8” thick extrusions.
- Hydraulic system is operated by either an electric hydraulic and/or mechanical pump system.
- The compact electric unit is completely self-contained with motor, gear pump, reservoir, internal valving, load hold checks and relief valves. Electric motor uses 20 amp for only a few seconds.
- The electrically powered unit weight is about 6 lbs and can be installed just about anywhere in the fuselage which can aid in establishing proper CG position. Power unit is operated by a 3 way switch mounted on the instrument panel. 2 flexible high pressure nylon type hoses run from the pump to each float.
- The mechanical pump has an external hydraulic oil reservoir and does require more time to install. The pump is typically mounted in front of the pilot seat for easy pumping with reservoir in the rear fuselage. Weight is the same as the electric system and same high pressure nylon lines are used. Both systems have a pressure relief valve as to not put too much pressure in the system.
In order to maximize the strength of the floats, extrusions are sold riveted with typical AN aluminum type. For customer who really do not want to solid rivet the floats together, Zenair can supply a stainless steel rivet designed for maximum strength but also for water sealing.
Two high quality hydraulic units are available. Both are compact and lightweight (at 6.5 lbs for electric; 2.5 lbs for manual). The oil tank of the electric unit (left in above photo) is easy to inspect and to fill. Both systems have pressure release valves to make sure that the hydraulic system does not become overloaded. When ordering your floats, specify which unit you want.