Wheels arriving for overhaul are first thoroughly cleaned using a number of different methods. A high-pressure wheel washer is used for primary cleaning, which is often sufficient. Other components may be plastic media blasted (to clean without pitting) or cleansed using an ultrasonic bath. Non-ferrous parts are eddy current inspected (ECI) and/or liquid penetrant inspected (LPI). Ferrous parts go through magnetic particle inspection (MPI). Finished components are epoxy painted and oven-baked for added durability. Wheel build machines give precise control of the critical wheel assembly process. Small wheels are assembled on our purpose-built hydraulic wheel build machine. Large wheels are reassembled on a dedicated Bauer Howden wheel-building machine that aligns components and ensures accurate torqueing of all the bolts. Torque settings are computer controlled to ensure reassembly tolerances are better than specifications. The investment in these specialty machines improves the quality of the final product and saves a lot of technician time.
The Hope Aero wheel team has experience across a wide range of manufacturers, and regularly services all sizes of wheels, from small general aviation to the venerable Hercules aircraft.