As a primary component of aviation design, tires have evolved over the years to assist aircraft in handling the stressors of takeoff, landing, and fluctuating environmental temperatures. When landing, a great amount of friction is applied to the aircraft tires. For modern aircraft to support the weight of the vehicle and all passengers within, the tires need to be capable of enduring constant abuse not otherwise withstandable by standard car or rubber tires. It is paramount that aircraft tires are flexible, made out of a material resistant to heat and designed to meet the needs of a specific aircraft. Within this blog, we will discuss the basics of aircraft tires, what they are composed of, and how they can be properly maintained.
With the average landing speed of commercial aircraft ranging between 150 to 165 MPH, or 240 to 265 KPH, aircraft wheel components must be built to withstand repeated bouts of tremendous force while also undertaking the weight of the entire structure. Including specialized components reserved to absorb shock and assist in landing, heat resistant materials like kevlar are often used to construct the tires of an aircraft. As aircraft can accumulate an electric charge when in flight, a material’s electrical conductivity and resistance to heat is also considered when constructing a tire wheel assembly.
During the process of constructing aircraft tires, two designs are most often considered. Coming in the form of radial or bias ply tires, these assemblies are manufactured with constant wear and tear in mind. For commercial aviation in particular, radial ply tires are recommended for their interlocking build and increased landing & rolling resistance. These tires consist of interlocking beaded cords, composing a structure of interlocking ply angles that run radially at 90 degree angles from the center. Having fewer components than bias ply tires, radial tires feature a modern design that is more simplistic in its construction and makeup. In comparison, bias ply tires are best for general aviation use, constructed with alternating plies at 30 to 60 degree angles.
As an important step in maintaining aircraft safety, regular inspection and maintenance can improve the quality and lifespan of tires currently fitted on an aircraft. When inspecting the tires, common faults to look for are tread wear patterns, sidewall damage, bulges, fabric fraying, flat spots & groove cracking, wheel assembly damage, and such. It is imperative that the aircraft tire and wheel assembly is checked before and after flights to ensure vehicle and payload safety. A thorough inspection includes, but is not limited to, checking for common faults through visual tire inspection, gauging tire inflation and making adjustments as needed, wheel assembly inspection, and determining if any additional protection is needed for the tires. If not in use, tires must be safely dismounted and stored within a dry environment away from direct sunlight at, or below, 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are searching for specific tires, tubes, and pneumatic aircraft parts, look no further than Veritable Aviation. As a leading online supplier of countless tire valves and various other parts and components, we provide qualifying certifications or manufacturing trace documentation for every purchase as applicable. Furthermore, we are the only independent distributor with a strict no-China sourcing pledge, meaning that all of our offered parts come from reliable sources. Due to our quality control and export compliance initiatives, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.
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