For more than six months, Zenair has been delivering the popular 1150- and 1450-pound kits and factory assembled floats. The company is now offering a pre-drilled fastbuild float kit and welcoming aircraft dealers and maintenance shops to finish them for customers.
Shipping assembled floats is expensive in crating but also in shipping costs. When customers are able to purchase locally assembled floats, these costs are significantly lower. Additionally, a local assembly shop can customize the floats and assist in mounting them.
The new pre-drilled fastbuild float kits are 100% factory assembled at Zenair with Clecoes, and then are disassembled for shipping. All aluminum channels, skins etc. are cut to the exact size, ready to be riveted. Customers have the option of riveting the floats with solid rivets or using a special sealed blind rivet that cuts the finishing time by more than 50%. When assembling the floats, a zinc chromate type primer is applied to all of the mating interior surfaces followed by a high quality adhesive sealant where the parts are than riveted together. Detailed CAD assembly drawings and step-by-step photos are part of the kit, Zenair says.
Zenair floats were first introduced in the mid-1980s. Some of the advantages are that they are light, perform well, are strong and reasonably priced. Amphibious wheels are extra large and tough. The Light Sport Aircraft 1450-pound float mainwheels use a huge 6.00 type tire (diameter is similar to a Cessna 172 mainwheel tire).
The amphibious system used to raise and lower the wheels is hydraulically operated by an electric or manual pump, or both. Zenair designed a unique locking mechanism on the mainwheels that does not rely on hydraulic pressure once the wheels are lowered. Additionally, the maingear system loads are spread over two bulkheads, maximizing strength, according to Zenair. The 1450 floats have 15 full-size bulkheads.
For more information, including available sizes, kit options and prices, call 705/526-2871 or visit www.zenairfloats.com. You can also see the floats at the Zenith Aircraft site at Oshkosh AirVenture (July 26 – August 1), in the North Aircraft Display area, Booths 640 and 641.