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  #1  
Old 03-23-08, 11:50 AM
larry bowdish's Avatar
larry bowdish larry bowdish is offline
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI
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Parker Hannifin/Airborne Vacuum Pump

I got an interesting note on Friday, from Parker Hannifin / Airborne concerning vacuum pumps. It said, in brief, that this letter contains information CRITICAL TO PILOT AND PASSENGER SAFETY . I can tell you, that got my attention. It says that all Parker/Airborne Engine Driven Air Pumps are beyond their service limits, and must be removed. It further says that in the next 30 days, check your airplane, and remove the Parker/Airborne vacuum pump.

On Friday, we were getting another snow storm, so I was more interested in how much gas I had for the snow blower, than checking the vacuum pump on my plane. Today, I confirmed that I don't have the Airborne pump, I have PESCO wet pumps.

So I did some research on this subject. It turns out that you can buy a rebuild kit for your Parker pump from Aircraft Spruce. The letter, however, says not to use an overhauled or reconditioned Parker pump. I wonder if I should let Aircraft Spruce know that?

There are companies that overhaul older wet pumps, the Pesco and Garwin. There is only one company that makes them today, Airwolf. M-20, the air oil seperator company announced they were going to make a "Lifetime" pump, but they are not doing that any more.

I read that wet pumps are significantly more expensive, to purchase and install than dry pumps. However, if you have to replace a dry pump every 2-3 years, wouldn't a wet pump that lasts for 10 years be better? Airwolf warrantees their pumps for 10 years or 2000 hours.

How many of you use dry pumps, vs wet pumps? It seems to me that the wet pumps last longer, and dry pumps fail. Always. And sooner, too
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  #2  
Old 03-23-08, 10:40 PM
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hharney hharney is offline
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Just got back from the hanger. Both of my pumps are Airborne. Both are dry type, engine driven. Both are model 211CC.

Front engine has a factory new that is taged Airborne / Parker. Model 211CC Serial 11AH 7372. The case has the words NO OVERHAUL casted into it. I haven't checked the logs yet to see when it was installed.

Rear engine is taged Manufacturer Airborne, Model 211CC, Serial Rapco 23959. It looks to be a rebuilt. Again I will pull out my logs and see the vintage of this unit too.

I checked the Wag Aero catalog just quickly and see that they advertise Vacuum Pumps by Rapco. Old Model 211CC is now a RA215CC. Cost is $269.95. I think this is what I must have on the rear. I just had both electric fuel pumps on my Twin Comanche rebuilt by Rapco in Wisconsin. Might be the same place. They are a large rebuilder of aircraft parts. They were the only ones that could rebuild the fuel pumps on the TwinCo. Wag Aero also has rebuilt Dry Vacuum Pumps other than the Rapco I stated. These do not indicate a manufacturer just that they are warranteed for 1 year or 400 hours which ever is first. They show a model 211CC for $222.50 with core. They also show kits for rebuild at $144.50.

Wet Vac Pumps from Wag Aero are $471.50 w/ core or $496.50 w/o. The Airwolf Wet Pump is $1599.00 with a 2000 hour / 10 year warranty

This letter looks pretty serious. I suggest you check your pump type.

Looking at the Rapco units, they do not indicate that they are Airborne in the ad from Aircraft Spruce. But my rear pump is Rapco and it says on the tag Manufacturer Airborne. They show a 211CC rebuilt for sale and the Rapco RA215CC for sale.


http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...dryairpump.php
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Herb R Harney
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Last edited by hharney : 03-23-08 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 03-23-08, 11:00 PM
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hharney hharney is offline
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here is what my rear pump looks like with the tag that says manufactured Airborne
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File Type: jpg aaa_211cc.jpg (21.0 KB, 544 views)
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Herb R Harney
1968 337C

I'm in the front of the aircraft to prevent it from committing suicide
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Old 03-23-08, 11:02 PM
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here is a picture of the Rapco, I do not see anything that says Parker or Airborne
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File Type: jpg ra_215cc.jpg (26.3 KB, 454 views)
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Herb R Harney
1968 337C

I'm in the front of the aircraft to prevent it from committing suicide
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Old 03-23-08, 11:05 PM
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hharney hharney is offline
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Here is an option that is interesting but expensive:

Sigma-Tek's new manufacture, completely new design dual-action piston pump eliminates broken vanes, cracked rotors and carbon dust contamination, a common failure of standard dry-vane carbon-rotor air pumps. More features of the Aeon dual-action piston air pump:

5 year/ 2000 hour Factory Warranty (whichever occurs first)
Replaces All 200 Series: and 1U128 Series rotary vane pumps

$859.00
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File Type: jpg st_1u478-003.jpg (21.2 KB, 465 views)
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Herb R Harney
1968 337C

I'm in the front of the aircraft to prevent it from committing suicide
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  #6  
Old 03-24-08, 05:08 AM
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Skymaster337B Skymaster337B is offline
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I attended an IA refresher seminar last week, and vacuum pumps was a whole course of instruction. Bottom line, don't waste your money or time with overhaul kits!!!! I know this first hand, and then had to buy a new/reconditioned one. The tolerances on the rotors are so tight that only a lab can get it right.

The FAA guy said there are flight schools that do get 2000 hours out of a dry vacuum pump. The secret was installing them correctly (how you hold a wrench while installing the pump effects how long it will last), really! This includes cleaning the lines and relief valves, changing filters, and if you are running de-ice boots with the pump then guess what--it fails sooner.

Last edited by Skymaster337B : 03-24-08 at 05:18 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-08, 10:51 AM
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I have read some other forums on this subject now and here is what the word on the street is; if you are flying Part 91 the SB does not effect you. There may be some issues with how your insurance policy is stated, some may state that you have to comply with all manufactures bulletins.

Has anyone else learned anything? Do you have Airborne pumps?
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Herb R Harney
1968 337C

I'm in the front of the aircraft to prevent it from committing suicide
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  #8  
Old 03-24-08, 06:13 PM
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Yet another in a long line of CYA actions from Parker. They have made it very clear that they want no part of the aviation liability environment. First by casting "no overhaul" into their pump bodies then by ceasing production althogether followed by a series of warning letters stating that any aviator so fool hardy as to venture into IMC with one vacuum pump would certainly come to grief and demanding that all single engine operators have a backup source of attitude. Preferably by electric gyro or at least electric standby pump or manifold vacuum diversion. Now a service letter demanding that all pump bodies "must" be retired. For every pump that they can get out of the system there is one less opportunity to be sued. I believe that it was the Carnahan accident that was the last straw. For Part 91 if it's not an AD it's not "mandatory" any more than Cessna's long list of "mandatory" service bulletins. For us, I feel that keeping dry pumps on a staggered replacement cycle, monitoring vane wear and replacing on condition, using rate based autopilots and staying partial panel proficient provides an adequate level of safety at the most economical cost.

Last edited by SteveG : 03-24-08 at 06:37 PM.
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