For the past seven years since I purchased my Arrow, I have used aluminum wheel covers to improve the looks of my wheels and to keep the wheel inte­riors clean and corrosion free. These were purchased from Aircraft Spruce, and as I recall they were about $20.00 each when I got them back in 2017. I primed and painted them, screwed them on, they looked good and kept my expensive wheels clean. I can’t tell you whether they make the plane fly any faster or any better though and that wasn’t a goal of the project. For $20.00 and a spray can of Rustoleum they couldn’t be beat!

However, there were a few problems that I was getting tired of dealing with. Since I have an Arrow with retractable landing gear, you have to remove the entire wheel cover to fill the tire with air. In order to add air to the tire on the nose gear, you also need to take the entire cover off. Although on the nose there’s no gear door to get in the way. While maybe not optimal, a couple of twists with a Philips screwdriver and the nose gear cover comes off. Getting back to the main gear with the gear door in the way you need to use a special screwdriver. Frankly, it’s a pain in the knuckles to use.

I got to looking around and since Knots2U is ten minutes from my house, I went over there to see what they had. And this is where it gets confusing! Knots2U sells LoPresti wheel covers. Wouldn’t that be like a fox guarding the hen house? Too funny! Anyway, I digress.

Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!

I purchased a pair of the LoPres­ti/Knots2U wheel covers for $265.00. Very expensive compared to the $20.00 I previously spent, howev­er, unlike the inexpensive aluminum wheel covers that have to be removed in their entirety to fill the tires, the LoPresti/Knots2U covers are made of thick PVC with a special door for fill­ing your tires. One quarter turn of a screw and a small door opens on the wheel cover. Instead of five minutes and scraped knuckles to fill my tires it’s now five seconds. Awesome!

I replaced my old aluminum wheel cover on the nose wheel with a new one just because! It is now $22.75, which isn’t bad considering seven years has gone by. There isn’t a door on the wheel cover but there’s no gear door either so I saved a little there.

I then installed the new LoPresti/Knots2U doors on my main wheels using the special screwdriver and in about five minutes I was done. As my Marine friends would probably say, “Ooorah!” The new wheel covers are A+ and while expensive, are more than worth the price.

Project complete, not too expensive in airplane dollars, looks great and wheels clean and corrosion free. Not bad for a five-minute project!

Nose gear tire before placement of wheel cover.
Nose gear tire with new wheel cover in place.
LoPresti wheel cover with easy to remove small door (Knots 2U) on top with old wheel covers on bottom.
LoPresti wheel cover prior to installation.
Tire with retractable door in way, prior to placement of wheel cover.

RESOURCES $265.00 for a pair of PVC covers $22.75/26.75 for each aluminum cover (different sizes)

Tire with new LoPresti wheel cover in place.