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Saywell International has commissioned DP Seals to manufacture a set of replacement seals for an Andover aircraft’s kneeling undercarriage.

The Hawker Siddeley Andover was retired from the RAF in the early nineties.

It continues to be operated as a training and trials aircraft under the military register of Qinetiq, a provider of technology-based services and products 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 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 tools 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 range, and for Jetstream 31 and 32 commuter aircraft.

DP Seals recently gained AS 9100 accreditation, further underlining its commitment to supporting the global aerospace industry.

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