Of all the things that operators can do to improve the life of the aviation tire, maintaining good pressure maintenance is right at the top of every list. This article briefly explains why pressure maintenance is so important. For more information check out our useful guide!
No other tire has to deal with such high load and extreme speed as an airplane tire. So they need a bit more care than the tires on your car or motorcycle.
Think of the role of the tire as holding the air at a pressure that is able to support the load of the airplane. (Nitrogen is normally used in commercial operations instead of air.)
Like all things aviation, the tire is one part of an assembly which can only work as intended when the parts are used as defined by the airframe and component manufacturers.
Under-inflating the tire or allowing the tire to operate when it is under-inflated will prevent the parts working together as intended.
And it will be the tire that will take the strain. It will deflect more and it will wear more. Harsh operating environments will only make it worse.
Some of the wear will be visible – on the tread and some of the wear will be invisible – inside the structure of the aviation tire.
Under-inflation will increase the footprint of the aviation tire as it rolls on the ground and will increase the build-up of heat. Heat is no friend to tires on airplanes and the tread will wear out more quickly than it should.
On multi-tire landing gear the under-inflated tire will force the other, maybe correctly inflated tires, to take a little bit more of the strain. This will wear those other tires a little more.
As extra heat caused by under-inflation builds up in the airplane tire the internal components of the tire might start to separate from each other. A catastrophic failure might result. Component separation in the casing of the tyre will prevent retreading and will increase operating costs. All for a bit of pressure maintenance!
24 Hour Pressure Checks
A carefully thought out pressure maintenance routine will increase the life of the tyre and will reduce the number of wheel changes required.
As all tires can allow a small pressure decrease during normal operations (due to the intense nature of their service life) airplane operators should check tire pressure every 24 hours.
Because putting the right pressure in the tires will always take pressure off the airplane operation.