Cornering and Wear Behavior of the Space Shuttle Orbiter Main Gear Tire
One of the factors needed to describe the handling characteristics of the Space Shuttle Orbiter during the landing rollout is the response of the vehicle's tires to variations in load and yaw angle. An experimental investigation of the cornering characteristics of the Orbiter main gear tires was conducted at the NASA Langley Research Center Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility. This investigation compliments earlier work done to define the Orbiter nose tire cornering characteristics. In the investigation, the effects of load and yaw angle were evaluated by measuring parameters such as side load and drag load, and obtaining measurements of aligning torque. Because the tire must operate on an extremely rough runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), tests were also conducted to describe the wear behavior of the tire under various conditions on a simulated KSC runway surface. Mathematical models for both the cornering and the wear behavior are discussed.