We are used to supplying aviation oil and other lubricants for a whole range of applications, but recently we found ourselves with the prospect of supplying aviation oil for Britain.
Last week Tyne and Wear Oils had an enquiry for 'Spitfire oil' and at first our minds went to the Triumph Spitfire as we often get enquiries about classic car oil.
This enquiry however was for oil for something even MORE classic - a Spitfire AIRCRAFT!
People often worry about putting the right oil in their motor car, so you can imagine how important it is to get the oil in a 70+ year old aircraft correct!
Current pricing for a Spitfire is between £1.5m and £2.5m - depending upon condition of course. You really do not want that dropping out of the sky - especially if you are in it.
Beyond the cost of the Spitfire as a whole, the vintage Rolls Royce Merlin carries a recommendation these days of a full overhaul every 500 hours flying at a cost in the region of £120,000. Ideally, we would not want to be bringing that forward too much.
Fortunately, with the extensive range of aviation oils and fluids Tyne and Wear Oils supplies, we felt reasonably confident we could keep this historical aircraft in the skies safely and performing well, but we had to be sure.
Even though it was only an order for a few litres, as with all of our oil enquiries, we made sure we recommended the right solution by following our standard questioning process with the prospective customer. This involves gathering minimum use information from the following questions:
Having all of the information above is not always essential, but as with so many things, the more information we have then the easier it is to be absolutely sure about the right recommended solution.
Clearly with such an old machine, not all the information we would ideally have liked was fully available, but after doing some research we were able to identify a suitable oil to fit the use the prospective customer was looking for.
The first stage was to check our own aviation oil and lubricants guide. To begin with we knew that a Spitfire is a piston engine - the Rolls Royce Merlin was one of the most successful aircraft engines of the World War II era and was a liquid-cooled V-12 piston aero engine. We therefore went straight to the 'Piston Engine Lubricants' section of the guide.
From here we could see that the applications for the three products listed included 'lubrication of vintage aeroplanes (WWI and WWII warplanes)'. With the information we had gathered from the questions above about the current oil being used, we were able to confidently recommend the Aero 80 oil with an SAE 40 grade (the viscosity grade of a lube oil is determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)).
Tyne and Wear Oils supplies not just oils for aviation applications, but also greases, hydraulic fluids and engine protection lubricants. If you have a need for aviation oil, or any other aviation related fluids - get in touch, we are sure we can help you out.
Why not get in touch now for immediate support and advice on how we can help you make the right choice.