Why Aircraft Tires Don’t Pop Upon Landing?

Given that we see car tires blow out on the freeway pretty often, it’s a wonder why we don’t see the same thing happening with aircraft tires. With how much weight they support on landing, and the fact the aircraft is flying at about 170 mph, this is an amazing feat. The tires are designed to support about a 38-ton load, and this is accomplished primarily through the amount of pressure they contain. Because of the tire material and pressure, they have incredible strength and endurance. They can land 500 times before needing a retread, and they can be retreaded about seven times before needing to be completely replaced.

Federal regulations require that the tires be capable of withstanding four times their rated pressure for 3 seconds. They are made using bias-ply construction. This means that the plies of reinforcing materials are embedded in the rubber at angles between 30 and 60 degrees to the centerline of the tire. This design creates balanced strength. Composite materials are utilized to save weight, increase strength, and because they generate less heat. It might be surprising, but high strength material is used primarily to support high pressure inflations rather than resist impact on landing.

Aircraft tires are inflated to 200 psi, which is about six times that of a car tire. They are pumped up with nitrogen in order to accommodate varying temperatures during flight. Dry nitrogen expands at the same rate as air but doesn’t contain moisture. Moisture increases the expansion rate with temperature, which causes the tire to over-expand and may cause it to explode.

Because the FAA regulates tire construction, all aircraft tires are safe. However, not all aircraft tires are safe to use on every aircraft. For example, an F-16 needs to have tires that can be pressurized up to 320 psi. So, it’s important to consult the aircraft OEM’s manual to know which tires to use.

At Accelerating RFQs, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft tires you need, new or obsolete. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at sales@acceleratingrfqs.com or call us at 1-780-851-3631. 


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