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The Oleomatic design was a great idea but in many ways was almost designed to fail! Filled as they were with atmospheric air, inevitably containing water vapour, all contained in a bare steel tube, seal failure was almost guaranteed. The next time your plane is flaring out for a touchdown just hope that they managed a better job on the landing gear than they did on the Oleomatics!

It just happens that I’ve been working on a “cunning plan” to eliminate the problem for some time now and consequently have been collecting bits to play with. I’ve paid £50.00 for scruffy ones but they can fetch £150.00 or more for a really tidy pair with complete yokes.

If there is any scoring or rust pitting in the upper tubes then they are going to leak and/or destroy the piston seals as sure as God made little green apples. If you find the upper tubes to be anything other than perfect in the bore then replacement 1.875” inside diameter solid drawn steel tube with a perfect bore is almost impossible to locate – if you do let me know! I’d go so far as to say that if the seals need replacing then the upper tubes will want replacing too particularly after 50 odd years and the next pothole is just around the corner . . .