Air Transport World

Airline products: aircraft radial tire promises savings. (Air X radial tire, produced by Michelin Tire Corp.)

Michelin Tire Corp. describes it as "definitely a new frontier in aricraft technology." It is the Air X radial tire, the first application of radial tire design to aviation use by the company that invented that style of tire construction.

The Air X promises weight savings, longer tread life, improved cut resistance, improved retreadability, outstanding ability to take overloads and cooler running. The latter feature should mean greater resistance to blowouts in hot climates, during highspeed landings and where long taxi runs are required. Although Michelin expects that its radials will cost more than conventional, bias-ply aircraft tires, this will be outweighed by far by operational and maintenance savings and by revenue-producing opportunities.

The first use of the Air X in scheduled commercial service took place Dec. 15, 1983 aboard an Air France Airbus Industrie A300-B4 on the regular Paris-London run. This test-equipped aircraft has since made more than 300 landings in scheduled service on various Air France routes, so far with three sets of tires. Replacements have been made not because of problems or defects but in order to enable Michelin to analyze their condition after a period of use.

Although just now being introduced to commercial aviation, Air X radials have been under development for several years and have been approved by the French Air Force for use on the Mirage III, F1 and 2000, and the Alpha Jet military aircraft. …

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