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News and Press Releases

Dec 01 2006 - Floats Alaska LLC. acquires Gar-Aero - Gra-Aero - Back



Alaska Tundra Tires
formerly Gar-Aero or Gra-Aero

Press Release - 12/2006

Visit the Alaska Tundra Tires website!

Gar Aero Tundra Tires is now under new ownership. Floats Alaska LLC is now manufacturing and distributing the same proven products and keeping the costs of high floatation Alaskan Bush tires for your aircraft down under the name Alaska Tundra Tires. This versatile and proven product is in widespread use over a good portion of the globe.

Floats Alaska has purchased the assets of the Gar Aero or Gra Aero tundra tire business from Gary Stevenson and we are spooling up to provide wheel adaptors tires and tail wheel kits. We have already transferred the STC to our name, added the 6 to 10 inch adaptors to our PMA and have received the first batch. Furthermore we have gotten an FAA approved process in place for Shaving the 29” tires which will hopefully added to the STC sometime this spring. They are field approvable for now. We have the wide tail wheel fork and tire kits in stock for 3200 and 3400 Scott tail wheels as well.

Alaska Tundra Tires for Main Wheels:

We manufacture a magnesium adaptor for your 6 inch Cleveland wheels to convert them to a 10 inch wheel. This allows the use of a variety of 10” rubber, including the 8.50x10 and the 29x11x10. We have a shaved 4 ply version of the 29 inch tire that has a supple tread area with an appropriate amount of stiffness in the sidewall and at a good weight. These both give a significant increase in floatation and tire radius for rolling over larger obstacles and have proven very reliable.

Our main competition makes a good tire that fits the 6” wheel. They are quite soft and can potentially take frontal impacts very well with their tall sidewall and light, supple construction. The down sides, besides cost, is that they wear quickly and the sidewall is evidently too soft for side loads such as curved or off camber runways (beaches) or crosswinds. We have heard numerous first hand reports of these undesirable characteristics. The Alaska Tundra tire has a more appropriate rigidity to the sidewall, especially for 2000 lb Gross Weight and up size aircraft, as well as a huge improvement in shock absorption and floatation compared to stock tires or 8.50x6 tires. The competitions smooth tires are also much more expensive to buy initially as well as to replace and We have heard numerous reports from 180/185 and 206 customers that they wear very quickly compared to typical aircraft rubber. If you wear out the rubber or it gets cut or damaged prematurely for example, the 10” inch rubber for Alaska Tundra Tires is much more readily available and far far more affordable. ($500 versus $1500 for 29” tires as an approximate example) The versatility of being able to affordably change between tire sizes with the Alaska Tundra Tire system is a significant benefit as well.

Alaska Tundra Tire Tail Wheels:

We manufacture an extra wide Aluminum tail fork to fit Scott 3200 and 3400 tail wheel “heads”. Our kit includes the bearing race and bushing for easy installation. With the tail wheel kit is a spacer to make your tail wheel wide enough to fill out the new fork and includes the longer axle bolt and wheel half bolts, a 4,00x4 tire and tube. This system gives a nice round tread tire with a wide tread pattern on the ground for superior floatation and shock absorption without being so heavy and tall that it puts undue loads on the tail spring or stinger like the 500x5 system. Again our competition makes a nice system that is very similar and in fact copies ours. Their fork appears to be well built and they have a smooth tire. From what we have seen it is a nice kit and STC approved but almost twice the cost and has the significant disadvantage of being only applicable to aircraft with 26” or larger main wheels. Our tail wheel is not STC approved (yet) but is readily field approvable. We can help with that too as we have an LDER on staff.

On the subject of Field Approvals for main or tail wheels.

Field approvals have indeed become more difficult in recent years but of all things tire modifications and especially tail wheels on general aviation aircraft don’t seem to be the subject of any intense scrutiny. Tundra tires in general are the only field approval for which there is a system in place for application to the FAA. The Tundra tire work sheet is part of the fairly effective established system. We still do them pretty regularly and also have an LDER on staff to help if needed.

Call 907-248-7070 or 907-248-6161

Or toll free in AK 877-770-7069

Email mailto:cessnaparts@alaska.net or floatsalaska@alaska.net




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Seaplanes North, LLC
3830 Aircraft Drive
Anchorage, AK 99502

(907) 248-6161

 


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