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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-04-2008, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: How old are they?

We've all been here:

Your airliner is coming in on its final approach. You look out the window and see the ground rising to meet the plane at a very fast rate. You wait for the loud thumps and squeals as the tires are suddenly put under a tremendous load, and must instantly spin up from zero to 140-160 mph.

At that moment, how often do your thoughts go to the quality of those tires and the frequency of their inspection? As well as their ability to grip the runway surface, especially on a rainy or foggy day?

If you're anything like me, it's each and every time.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: How old are they?

I use to trade vehicles so much that I never bought tires. In the fifteen years I have been driving, I have only bought two sets of tires, and two rear tires for a "race" car I drove around. The "race" car was a 1969 Olds Cutlass with a 455 bored .40 over, BIG cam, 411 gears in the rear. Lots of fun that car was. It got 8 miles to the gallon if I babied it, but I could litterally watch the gas guage go down if I was running it hard.

p.s. Colin, my 3 y.o. daughter loves your avatar.
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Old 09-05-2008, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: How old are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joraft View Post
We've all been here:

Your airliner is coming in on its final approach. You look out the window and see the ground rising to meet the plane at a very fast rate. You wait for the loud thumps and squeals as the tires are suddenly put under a tremendous load, and must instantly spin up from zero to 140-160 mph.

At that moment, how often do your thoughts go to the quality of those tires and the frequency of their inspection? As well as their ability to grip the runway surface, especially on a rainy or foggy day?

If you're anything like me, it's each and every time.

Don't want to scare anybody either, but airline tires are recapped about ten times in their life cycle. We used to have an industrial neighbor who was in the business of providing evaluation data for the recapping process. They did laser holography of the carcasses in a vacuum chamber. They overlayed images with and without vacuum, highliting the different shapes the tire exhibited due to voids. Every tire has a history and deterioration is monitored between recaps. When the deterioration eclipses certain criteria the tire is destroyed.

Also, the greatest strain on a tire is during takeoff, not landing, as the plane is purposely ground effected until is reaches the proper speed. This creates tremendous loading on the tires. Of course you might not know there is trouble until you try to come back down.......
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: How old are they?

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Originally Posted by GregMann View Post

Every tire has a history and deterioration is monitored between recaps. When the deterioration eclipses certain criteria the tire is destroyed.

Also, the greatest strain on a tire is during takeoff, not landing, as the plane is purposely ground effected until is reaches the proper speed. This creates tremendous loading on the tires. Of course you might not know there is trouble until you try to come back down.......

Interesting stuff, Greg.

I guess it's safe to assume that truck tires don't go through the same rigorous testing, which may be why we see so much tire debris along our highways.

The fact about takeoffs being tougher on the tires is something I did not know. Thanks, now I can worry going both ways.
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Old 09-08-2008, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: How old are they?

I used to fly for a living (spray planes) and I always "pre-flighted" the aircraft each morning and gave it a walk around between loads. Each evening, while washing it, it got a more thorough inspection.

Commercial airliners are heavily inspected by many sets of eyes. You will notice a pilot walking around under the airplane about 45 minutes before each flight with a clipboard, checking off items in a methodical manner. Tires & brakes are among the items, as well as control surfaces, hydraulic items and engines, looking for leaks, cracks or other anomalies. The ground crews also look at items they are trained on, from fuel ports to baggage doors.

I know there are occasionsl headlines about airlines skimping on maintenance, but this is the exception, not the rule. The pilot's lives depend on having a safe ride just as the passengers do; their skill is also periodically tested by the FAA and their employers.

I feel safer flying an airline than driving down the interstate in a pack of vehicles at 80 mph. I don't think many vehicles and drivers are inspected and tested as much as aviation.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: How old are they?

You guys are't just chat experts on Festool. To add I have found that since getting a commercial box van that is filled to the brim with tools that checking the tires is more crucial. Is it just me or does anyone else notice bad economy = less road repairs = unsafe conditions? Eric
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