THE author describes the results of a deliberate attempt to make motor vehicles ride on air that is at a low pressure, through the usage of an air-cushion tire having greater carcass flexibility than is usual and by enlarging the size of the tire section so as to provide a greater area of contact between the tire and the pavement. The goal tried for was to increase the area of contact sufficiently so that air pressures ranging from 20 to 35 lb. per sq. in. could be employed in actual practice.
Fundamental conditions are considered first, followed by statements as to what advantages the air-cushion tires containing air at low pressure give to a car. The effects on car operation are presented at some length, inclusive of considerations regarding car speed, steering ability, front-wheel shimmy, traction, braking control, blow-outs, side-sway, and other factors of influence.
Durability and tire cost are treated in some detail, specific applications of air-cushion tires to automobiles are considered and a discussion of their desirability is invited. In conclusion, recommendations are made for a new tire-size nomenclature, in regard to oversizing and to tire-deflection limitation; and specific tire-size recommendations for air-cushion tires on stated makes of car are advocated in the Appendix and tabulated. Numerous illustrations and diagrams accompany the paper.