When Saywell International, one of the world’s largest aircraft spares and components stockists, needed a set of replacement seals to be manufactured for an Andover aircraft’s ‘kneeling undercarriage’, they turned to DP Seals, one of the UK’s foremost suppliers of precision custom rubber seals and mouldings.

Originally built around 1965 for cargo delivery and intra-theatre casualty evacuation, the Hawker Siddeley Andover was retired from the RAF in the early nineties. It continues to ber operated as a training and trials aircraft under the military register of Qinetiq, a leading international provider of technology-based services and solutions to the defence, security and related markets.

This twin-engine turboprop military transport aircraft has a kneeling undercarriage, allowing the fuselage to be lowered for unloading vehicles on uneven ground. Kneeling is carried out by transferring oil from the undercarriage second stage oleo shock absorber into the main hydraulic system, the reverse is carried out to stand the aircraft back to flight position prior to take-off.

“DP Seals was the only company prepared to tool up for our needs because of the low numbers involved,” notes Ollie Reed Sales Co-ordinator at Saywell International.

“They responded very quickly and professionally, producing precision seals from our old drawings,” adds Mark Percival, Senior Technical Engineer at Saywell International.

DP Seals uses transfer moulding, a process characterised by low set-up times with high accuracy and repeatability, making it ideal for short prototype runs as well as volume production. Tools are produced in the company’s in-house tool room equipped with precision CNC machinery. Material and tool are preheated and pressure applied to force the material into the tool cavity mould to form the part. Product is then de-flashed, an area where DP Seals pioneered cryogenic cleaning.

Hawker Siddeley is now part of BAe Systems and DP Seals has achieved BAe Approval for producing spare parts; as a result, the company is also producing seals for other aircraft in the HS748 family, and Jetstream 31 and 32 commuter aircraft.

Every customer receives the same high level of service from DP Seals: uncompromising quality control.

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