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Technical Paper

Effects of Flywheel Curvature on Aircraft Tire Footprint Behavior

Although aircraft tires are traditionally tested on external dynamometers, the effects of the curved test surface on normal contact pressure distribution and footprint area of a tire have not been previously addressed. Using the Tire Force Machine (TFM) at the Wright Laboratory Landing Gear Development Facility (LGDF), trends for pressure distribution and footprint area were investigated for concave, convex and flat plate surfaces. This evaluation was performed using the F-16 bias, F-16 radial and B-57 bias main landing gear tires at rated load and inflation pressures. The trends for overall tire footprint behavior indicate that the more convex the surface, the smaller the contact area and the larger the normal contact pressures. Conversely, the more concave the surface, the larger the contact area and the smaller the normal contact pressures. Based on these results, the study recommends a 168″ diameter concave (internal roadwheel) dynamometer for tire wear/durability tests.
Technical Paper

Initial Identification of Aircraft Tire Wear

Tactical aircraft have tire lives as low as 3-5 landings per tire causing excessive support costs. The goal of the Improved Tire Life (ITL) program was to begin developing technology to double aircraft tire life, particularly for tactical aircraft. ITL examined not only the tire, but also aircraft/landing gear design, aircraft operations, and the operational environment. ITL had three main thrusts which were successfully accomplished: 1) development of an analytical tire wear model, 2) initiation of technology development to increase tire life, and 3) exploration of new and unique testing methods for tire wear. This paper reports the work performed and the results of the USAF sponsored ITL program.