Why Plane Tires Don’t Explode On Landing

Why Plane Tires Don’t Explode On Landing


If you dropped a watermelon at 170 mph, it would be a mess. Strap over 500,000 pounds to its back and it would be, well, nothing. But airplane tires manage
that impact every day, without incident. They’re made to withstand
hitting the pavement at extreme speeds, all while supporting an
entire commercial jet. Don’t think too hard about it
next time you’re in the air, but 45 inches of rubber
is the only thing standing between you and the tarmac during landing. So, what makes them
tough enough for the job? If you’ve ever driven down a US highway, you’ve probably seen
shredded tires along the way. Semitruck tires aren’t supposed
to explode, but they do. Airplane tires? Not so much. There are a few differences
between the two. First of all, a semitruck
isn’t falling out of the sky as part of its route. Those tires don’t need to be made to withstand the same
high speeds and weights. Airplane tires, on the other
hand, need to be reinforced. Brandy Moorhead: They’re
made with a combination of proprietary synthetic rubber compounds, which are paired with
aluminum steel reinforcements and nylon and aramid fabrics. Narrator: That’s Brandy. She’s in charge of
Goodyear’s aircraft tires, and she told us that
airplane tires are inflated twice as much as truck tires and six times as much as a car’s. That’s because the higher the
pressure, the firmer the tire and the more strength it
has to support the plane. And when they’re inflated,
it’s not with regular air. Airplane tires are filled with nitrogen. Brandy: Nitrogen is an inert gas, so high temperatures and pressure
changes have less effect. Narrator: Plane tires are subjected to the most rigorous
conditions of any vehicle tire. When Goodyear develops
a new airplane tire, it starts with a prototype. Then the tires are tested
beyond their breaking points. They’re tested for speed, pressure, and the ability to handle
a load up to 38 tons. So they have to be made very
differently than other tires. Instead of the blocky design
seen on a lot of car tires, plane tires get groovy. Brandy: That blocked pattern
enables different maneuvering and different characteristics
of ride and handling, which are required by an automobile, as opposed to just an
aircraft that takes off and lands on a runway. The reason we have grooves
in an aircraft tire at all is because we need to evacuate water if we were to land on a wet surface. Narrator: Commercial jets
usually have around 20 tires and touch down about 500 times before they have to be retread, which can be done seven times before the tire’s no
better than scrap rubber. And tires at the nose of the plane tend to have shorter life spans than the rest. It takes two mechanics up to an hour to change a single tire. They raise the tire only 5
centimeters off the ground, which doesn’t feel like
enough room to fit a thumb, let alone change a plane tire. The mechanics take off the hubcap and reduce the tire
pressure from 200 to 30 psi, which reduces the risk of it exploding as the bolts and nuts holding
it on the plane are removed. A sleeve protects the axle, and a lifting tool pulls the tire off. The axle sleeve is then greased, and the new tire is slid smoothly on. And then things move in reverse. Nuts and bolts, tire reinflated
to 200 psi, hubcap back on, and the whole thing is
gently lowered 5 centimeters back onto the ground. So, what happens after 500
landings, seven retreadings, and uncountable “This is
your captain speaking”s? A lot of the tires get recycled into playground mulch and even other tires for farming equipment. Those tires will be made
from old plane tires, but not like them. There’s no need. Because if a farmer is using their tractor the same way they’d use a plane, well, they’re doing it wrong.

100 thoughts on “Why Plane Tires Don’t Explode On Landing”

  1. 45" isnt nearly as scary as mere feet of composites and aluminum between your feet and the 14,000 to 24,000 feet of space between the belly of your aircraft and the dirt.

  2. They raise the tire only 5 centimeters off the ground, which doesn’t feel like enough room to fit a thumb.
    Your thumbs are more than two inches thick?!

  3. Yeah had to lower the pressure to land an 747 on a good short runway last one was Wollongong Airport now changed to Shellharbour Airport and the Runway had to be extended.

  4. So basically this video says "plane tires don't explode on landing because it is designed that way"

    Thank you so much, Tech Obvious.

  5. Almost every time people mention "tarmac", they're actually referring to concrete. Tarmacadam is nothing like concrete. It is closer to asphalt, but because it uses tar as a binder instead of asphalt's bitumen, it is easily damaged by diesel and gasoline. Because of this, tarmac is almost never used anymore. They haven't made airport surfaces out of tarmacadam in over half a century.

  6. Aircraft tires blow out often…it's not rare…and sometimes doing quite a bit of damage to the landing gear fixed door and flaps… But what do I know…only been doing commercial aircraft maintenance for 28+ years…
    2 Mechs 1 hour to change a feaking tire… are you kidding me?!?!?! BS….10 mins (15 for a brake change) on a 40 minute turn… either that or they are lazy freaking mechanics…

  7. fun fact: all aircrafts are rated to lose one tire per axle, so normaly a 737 has 6 tires, but you can still safely land with only 3, one per axle

  8. 1:06 wtf was that?!
    Whoever wrote this video actually thinks planes drop vertically to land. Peak idiocy. Unless you’re Ryan Air.

  9. A Concorde tire passed over a strip of metal from a sloppy repair to a Continental plane, came apart in chunks, struck the plane wing, and caused another part of the wing to rupture with a sizable fuel leak…

  10. At the end of the video it mentions that used airplane tires get to go to work on farm equipment but it says that the tires are just used for recycled rubber. When I was a kid, I remember that we used old airplane tires on the sprayers, as is . Maybe that's not the case anymore. Any farmboys out there know whether a John Bean sprayer still uses old airplane tires?

  11. But they DO EXPLODE. And not the nose. The mains. And it takes less than hour if you know what you are doing.

    "Which reduces it from exploding as the bolts and nuts are removed from the plane". These fukcs don't know anything about what they are making a video about.

  12. People need to learn the difference between tyres and wheels.
    A wheel is made up of a Tyre, rim and valve. The black rubber thing is the tyre. The whole assembly is called the wheel.

    When you have a flat tyre on your car, you are changing the wheel with your spare wheel. Not the bloody tyre.

    If you are going to change your tyre, you will be removing the tyre from the rim and putting a tyre back on the rim.
    Deciphering your ignorance gives the clever people headaches.

  13. It takes 2 mechanics an hour to change one wheel… Excuse me what. It takes the guts of 10 minutes maximum. You have to be able to do it on aircraft turnaround if it is required… What dopey ass engineers take 1 hour to do that!?!?

  14. Question. Why don't they have motors to spin up the tires to ground speed to reduce wear and tear on the tires? Not worth the extra weight?

  15. Tarmac? M8 its called a Runway. No part of an Airport is called “Tarmac” it is either a Taxiway, a Runway, a Gate, a Ramp, or an Apron. The Term “Tarmac” does not exist in an airport

  16. The tires don't bear the whole weight of the plane on impact. The wings are still providing lift. Not until the tires are rolling without skidding do they bear the whole weight.

  17. Truck tires get recapped. That's what you see on the side of the road. The tire doesn't exploded, the tread just comes off.

  18. The pieces of truck tires on the interstate actually come from recaps ( new threads glued onto old truck tires)

  19. So "American-Centric' as always, seeing things only from an American point of view ! "If you have ever driven down an American Highway" There is a whole WORLD outside of the US who also watch Youtube !!! Amend ur Videos !

  20. A great, informative video with one glaring flaw: you compare the needs of semi-truck and tractor tires with airplane tires by showing the former drop straight out of the sky onto the ground, instead of coming in at an acute angle to the ground, as airliners do. If I (or anyone) was ever on an airplane that "landed" as you show the tractor and truck to do, there would be no more air travel. Maybe consult a physicist next time. Other than that, I learned things and I'm glad I watched!

  21. cisnienie w kolach musi byc mniejsze niz zl9sc tej mojej tesciowej..puscie ja na ksiezyc…okradnie,zniewazy narazi na wstyd !!!

  22. Why Plane Tires Don't Explode On Landing because you are talking about emirates landings.
    ryanair is some creature i have nothing to say about

  23. Would it not be possible to start the tyres spinning, in order to reduce the friction damage on making contact with the runway ?

  24. You didnt even talk about the real hero, anti lock. All aircraft have "anti skid" systems specifically designed to ensure the tires dont explode on lands..

  25. The lady who does the representing on this video clip ought not to be a pilot at all. If aircraft landings are what she demonstrated here there will be no survivors at any airport whatsoever.

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