Aircraft tire

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Changing a wheel on a Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft Two man replace a main landing gear tire of a plane.jpg
Changing a wheel on a Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft
Tires on the wheels of a bogie on a Boeing 777 Boeing-777-300 chassis .jpg
Tires on the wheels of a bogie on a Boeing 777

An aircraft tire or tyre is designed to withstand extremely heavy loads for short durations. [1] The number of tires required for aircraft increases with the weight of the aircraft, as the weight of the airplane needs to be distributed more evenly. Aircraft tire tread patterns are designed to facilitate stability in high crosswind conditions, to channel water away to prevent hydroplaning, and for braking effect.


Aircraft tires also include fusible plugs (which are assembled on the inside of the wheels), designed to melt at a certain temperature. Tires often overheat if maximum braking is applied during an aborted takeoff or an emergency landing. The fuses provide a safer failure mode that prevents tire explosions by deflating in a controlled manner, thus minimizing damage to aircraft and objects in the surrounding environment.


Each of the twelve Boeing 777-300ER main tires is inflated to 220 psi (15 bar; 1,500 kPa), weighs 120 kg (260 lb), has a diameter of 134 cm (53 in) and is changed every 300 cycles while the brakes are changed every 2000 cycles. [2] Each tire is worth about $5,000. [3] Aircraft tires generally operate at high pressures, up to 200  psi (14  bar ; 1,400  kPa ) for airliners, and even higher for business jets[ citation needed ]. The main landing gear on the Concorde was typically inflated to 232 psi (16.0 bar), whilst its tail bumper gear tires were as high as 294 psi (20.3 bar). [4] The high pressure and weight load on the Concorde tyres were a significant factor in the loss of Air France Flight 4590.

Tests of airliner aircraft tires have shown that they are able to sustain pressures of maximum 800 psi (55 bar; 5,500 kPa) before bursting.[ citation needed ] During the tests the tires have to be filled with water, to prevent the test room being blown apart by the energy that would be released by a gas when the tire bursts.

Aircraft tires are usually inflated with nitrogen to minimize expansion and contraction from extreme changes in ambient temperature and pressure experienced during flight. [5] Dry nitrogen expands at the same rate as other dry atmospheric gases (normal air is about 80% nitrogen), but common compressed air sources may contain moisture, which increases the expansion rate with temperature. [6]

The requirement that an inert gas, such as nitrogen, be used instead of air for inflation of tires on certain transport category airplanes was prompted by at least three cases in which the oxygen in air-filled tires had combined with volatile gases given off by a severely overheated tire and exploded upon reaching autoignition temperature. The use of an inert gas for tire inflation eliminates the possibility of tire explosion. [7]


The aircraft tire manufacturing industry is dominated by a four firm oligopoly that controls 85% of market share. [8]

The four major manufacturers in aircraft tire manufacturing are the following according to a report by Pelmar Engineering in 2013: [9]

These firms control approximately 85% of the manufacturing market and account for most of the retreads. [9] Dunlop is the smallest player among the major firms with revenue reported at £40m in a 2015 media report. [10] [11]

There are several other smaller industry players, particularly in China. Among these producers are Guilin-based Guilin Lanyu Aircraft Tire Development Co., a subsidiary of ChemChina that was founded in 1980; a Yinchuan, Ningxia located aircraft tire plant owned by Singapore-based Giti Tire; and Qingdao, Shandong-based Sentury Tire, which manufactures tires for the Boeing 737. [12] [13] [14]

Weihai, Shandong-based Triangle Group announced in 2012 a collaboration with the Harbin Institute of Technology for designing and manufacturing aircraft tires. [12]

Former manufacturers

Yokohama Rubber had been manufacturing aircraft tires since 1940 but shut down its operations and made no more deliveries after 2009. [15] The company decided to close down the aircraft unit because its sales were low, having revenue of only 800 million JPY or about US$8 million in the 2008-9 fiscal year, and it assessed the future outlook of the industry as lacking in strong growth. [15]

See also

Related Research Articles

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An inflatable is an object that can be inflated with a gas, usually with air, but hydrogen, helium and nitrogen are also used. One of several advantages of an inflatable is that it can be stored in a small space when not inflated, since inflatables depend on the presence of a gas to maintain their size and shape. Function fulfillment per mass used compared with non-inflatable strategies is a key advantage. Stadium cushions, impact guards, vehicle wheel inner tubes, emergency air bags, and inflatable space structures employ the inflatable principle. Inflation occurs through several strategies: pumps, ram-air, billowing, and suction.

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Landing gear is the undercarriage of an aircraft or spacecraft and may be used for either takeoff or landing. For aircraft it is generally needed for both. It was also formerly called alighting gear by some manufacturers, such as the Glenn L. Martin Company. For aircraft, Stinton makes the terminology distinction undercarriage (British) = landing gear (US).

Aquaplaning Loss of traction due to water buildup under tires

Aquaplaning or hydroplaning by the tires of a road vehicle, aircraft or other wheeled vehicle occurs when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the vehicle from responding to control inputs. If it occurs to all wheels simultaneously, the vehicle becomes, in effect, an uncontrolled sled. Aquaplaning is a different phenomenon from when water on the surface of the roadway merely acts as a lubricant. Traction is diminished on wet pavement even when aquaplaning is not occurring.

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Gas blending for scuba diving is the filling of diving cylinders with non-air breathing gases such as nitrox, trimix and heliox. Use of these gases is generally intended to improve overall safety of the planned dive, by reducing the risk of decompression sickness and/or nitrogen narcosis, and may improve ease of breathing.

Cabin pressurization Process to maintain internal air pressure in aircraft

Cabin pressurization is a process in which conditioned air is pumped into the cabin of an aircraft or spacecraft in order to create a safe and comfortable environment for passengers and crew flying at high altitudes. For aircraft, this air is usually bled off from the gas turbine engines at the compressor stage, and for spacecraft, it is carried in high-pressure, often cryogenic tanks. The air is cooled, humidified, and mixed with recirculated air if necessary before it is distributed to the cabin by one or more environmental control systems. The cabin pressure is regulated by the outflow valve.

Dunlop Tyres Irish tyre brand

Dunlop Tyres is a brand of tyres which is managed by different companies around the world. Founded by pneumatic tyre pioneer John Boyd Dunlop in Dublin, Ireland, in 1890, the brand is operated by Goodyear in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Cold inflation pressure

Cold inflation pressure is the inflation pressure of tires before the car is driven and the tires(tyres) warmed up. Recommended cold inflation pressure is displayed on the owner's manual and on the placard attached to the vehicle door edge, pillar, glovebox door or fuel filler flap. 40% of passenger cars have at least one tyre under-inflated by 6 psi or more. Drivers are encouraged to make sure their tires(tyres) are adequately inflated, as under inflated tires(tyres) can greatly reduce fuel economy, increase emissions, cause increased wear on the edges of the tread surface, and can lead to overheating and premature failure of the tire(tyre). Excessive pressure, on the other hand, may lead to impact-breaks, decreased braking performance, and cause increased wear on the center part of the tread surface.

Tire manufacturing Process of tire fabrication

Pneumatic tires are manufactured according to relatively standardized processes and machinery, in around 455 tire factories in the world. With over 1 billion tires manufactured worldwide annually, the tire industry is a major consumer of natural rubber. Tire factories start with bulk raw materials such as synthetic rubber, carbon black, and chemicals and produce numerous specialized components that are assembled and cured.

A tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure inside the pneumatic tires on various types of vehicles. A TPMS reports real-time tire-pressure information to the driver of the vehicle, either via a gauge, a pictogram display, or a simple low-pressure warning light. TPMS can be divided into two different types – direct (dTPMS) and indirect (iTPMS). TPMS are provided both at an OEM (factory) level as well as an aftermarket solution. The goal of a TPMS is avoiding traffic accidents, poor fuel economy, and increased tire wear due to under-inflated tires through early recognition of a hazardous state of the tires. This functionality first appeared in luxury vehicles in Europe in the 1980s, while mass-market adoption followed the USA passing the 2000 TREAD Act after the Firestone and Ford tire controversy. Mandates for TPMS technology in new cars have continued to proliferate in the 21st century in Russia, the EU, Japan, South Korea and many other Asian countries. As of November 2014, fitment rate stands at 54% of passenger cars.

Mexicana Flight 940 1986 aviation accident

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Tubeless tires are pneumatic tires that do not require a separate inner tube.

Tire maintenance

Tire maintenance for motor vehicles is based on several factors. The chief reason for tire replacement is friction from moving contact with road surfaces, causing the tread on the outer perimeter of tires to eventually wear away. When the tread depth becomes too shallow, the tire is worn out and should be replaced. The same wheels can usually be used throughout the lifetime of the car. Other problems encountered in tire maintenance include:

Bicycle tire Tire that fits on the wheel of a bicycle

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Dunlop is a brand of tyre originally produced by the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company from the end of the 19th century, taking its name from John Boyd Dunlop. The brand is used for many other products made from rubber or with rubber components and some with a looser connection to rubber.

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Outline of tires Overview of and topical guide to tires

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to tires:

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres is a tyre-manufacturing company in Birmingham, England, that claims to be world's only specialist aircraft tyre manufacturer and retreader, for aircraft landing gear.


  1. Force, United States Dept of the Air (1974). Aerospace safety. for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
  2. Alitalia (Jan 18, 2019). "Cambio pneumatico Boeing 777-300 ER" via YouTube.
  3. Enrique Perrella (January 18, 2019). "Video: Changing Tires On A Boeing 777-300ER In One Minute". Airways International.
  4. "Concorde landing gear specifications".
  5. "Airworthiness Directive 87-08-09". FAA. June 1, 1987.
  6. "Why Nitrogen" . Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  7. Federal Aviation Administration, Use of Nitrogen or Other Inert Gas for Tire Inflation in Lieu of Air
  8. "Manufacturers work on perfecting aircraft tires". Rubber News. May 9, 2013.
  9. 1 2 Peled, Jacob (2 October 2014). "Aircraft Tire Production-New Horizons". SlideShare. Pelmar Engineering Limited.
  10. "Global Aircraft Tire Market 2014-2018". PRNewswire. June 15, 2014.
  11. "Dunlop Aircraft Tyres' niche approach bucks UK trend". Financial Times. September 6, 2015.
  12. 1 2 "Triangle Group to add aircraft radials to range". Rubber News. May 17, 2012.
  13. "Brief Introduction". Guilin Lanyu Aircraft Tire Development Co.
  14. "Aircraft tires: Up, up and away!". Modern Tire Dealer. June 14, 2013.
  15. 1 2 "Yokohama withdraws from aircraft tire business". Tire Technology International.