Top Gear

Sealey MC480 hydraulic lift

From £145 | Website

Last issue I mentioned that I had found a cracked tube in the RV-3 engine mount. That meant engine off, and because the RV-3, like most of the tailwheel RV’s uses its engine mount to attach the gear legs to, required a solution to lift the airframe safely and keep it supported without the gear while the engine mount was away for repair. 

While I was looking around at types of hydraulic jack, I stumbled upon a lift designed for motorcycles and quad bikes. The Sealey MC480 popped up in one of my searches, with 680kg of lifting capability which was more than adequate for the 335kg empty weight of the RV-3, and while the retail price was £200, one or two online suppliers had it for less than £150, which seemed like good value for well-engineered lifting capability. 

After making a custom wood fixture to sit on its wide lift platform, we raised and supported the tailwheel and slipped it under the aircraft. Easy pumps on the lift pedal and the gear was lifted off the ground. A mechanical safety lock and stabilising feet on the lift helped keep the -3 safe while the mount was away. 

Once the repairs were complete, careful use of the pressure release had the -3 lowered back onto it’s wheels.



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