RAPCO Brakes Now Available for the RV-10

added 7/13/2011
updated 7/31/2011

If you've followed my maintenance write-ups at all you've probably seen reference to the Cleveland Brake parts for the RV10 wheels.  My 2006 Tires and Brakes write-up has lots of information added to it over the years regarding the brake parts.  Ever since my first set of were worn out, I've talked to Rapco about producing to replace the Cleveland 66-112 linings.  It seems that for most every plane, brake are far cheaper than the 66-112's that were ONLY produced by Cleveland, whereas most of the other were produced by multiple manufacturers, the primary alternative being Rapco.  Rapco has made numerous FAA/PMA approved parts for planes for a long long time.  With the 66-112 model being almost double what many other cost, I thought it best to contact Rapco early on and see why they didn't make that part number.  It was just a matter of demand, basically.

So I informed Rapco that the RV-10 uses those and that they were soon to become a much hotter seller, because not only are there many many kits (over 1,000) sold, but these planes have a castering nosewheel and for many people that will mean they'll have to overcome the tendency to ride the brakes when they taxi....so we'll perhaps be using the up quicker as we learn to fly these planes.

My first set of didn't last terribly long, and my advice to any new RV-10 flier is to buy a set of 4 , with rivets, and a brake rivet tool (see the above link) and keep it on hand.  You don't want to be grounded by not having spare parts around, and you surely don't want to do what I did....  On my first set of , I ran them too long, and ended up running the rivets into the discs on one side.  I hadn't bought replacements yet, so I had to scramble and get parts.  Not good.

Anyway, over the last few years and 750 hours of flying, I've kept up on keeping stock of a fresh set of , and every time I've gone to replace them, I've contacted Rapco again, just to see if they've started to produce them yet...and this year they finally came through!
As it turns out, RAPCO is producing not only the , but the discs.  The should be slightly cheaper than the Cleveland , and the discs are also very reasonable.  The linings are p/n RA66-112, and the discs are p/n RA164-07500.

Currently, these particular part numbers by Rapco are not for certified aircraft until they finish their FAA/PMA approval on them, but they're being sold by one single supplier.... http://www.VansAircraftTires.com which is connected to Desser Tire, so it's a handy stop for me in that's where I buy all my tires...currently still using and liking the 15-6.00/6 High Performance Retread tires from Desser.  The discs are for sale there for $102.00 and the linings for $16.99 ea. (Pricing current as of 7/2011)

I asked Rapco a little about these brakes and it sounds like the discs themselves should be a little harder than the Cleveland brakes, and the linings have a little more metallic content.  You can see in the close-ups below that there seems to be more metal in the Rapco linings.  There are 2 benefits to the Rapco brake discs linings over the Cleveland ones too:  1) The linings are made with a couple of dimpled notches in them, one on each end of the pad.  This is a built-in wear indicator.  Don't quote me on the number, but, I think it goes like this...if you wear the pad down so that the notch disappears, you have .020 left until you will start scraping the rivets on the discs.  2) The Rapco discs are made of steel, and then plated with Nickel, and then the nickel is removed from the braking wear surface.  This leaves the remaining part of the disc protected against corrosion by a nickel plating.

After having scored my discs a long time ago, yet just running them with the slight gouging in them, I decided to just dive in and try out the new Rapco linings and disks both, since the more metalic linings and harder discs may give a slightly longer service length, and I was curious to see how they would go.  Below you can see pictures of the parts side by side, and I'm now flying the new Rapco parts.  My first taxi I did the run-in process of a few quick hard stops at higher taxi speeds, and they performed fine at every stop.  I then went out for my night currency landings and they did great there too.  I'll report back as I find out what the total lifetime of these linings is, and we'll see if they're any different than what I've experienced in the past.


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