Taking time to stretch and add a dose of talcum powder may sound like a gymnast getting ready for the high bar, but those practices also apply to mounting aircraft tires.
Essential to providing proper tire life, correctly mounting aircraft tires requires following the detailed mounting procedures provided by tire and wheel manufacturers for both tube-type and tubeless tires.
Larry Rapsard, product support manager for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., says proper mounting of aircraft tires calls for a 12-hour stretch after the initial mounting.
“All tires, particularly bias tires, will stretch after the initial inflation, causing a volume increase and a corresponding drop in pressure. For that reason, tires should not be placed in service until they’ve been inflated for a minimum of 12 hours and reinflated if necessary,” Rapsard said.
After the 12-hour stretch period, it is highly recommended that the tire/wheel assembly be given a 24-hour diffusion check to make sure the assembly is holding inflation properly. Tubeless assemblies, in particular, can lose pressure through the valve, o-ring, fuse plug, overpressure plug, tiny cracks in the wheel, etc.
When mounting a tube-type tire, a light coat of talc on the tube before mounting will help the tube fit inside the tire. After mounting, first inflate, then deflate, then re-inflate the tire. This helps to equalize the tube inside the tire, minimizing the chance for pinching and folding.
When mounting a tubeless tire, torque the wheel bolts properly and inflate the tire to the recommended inflation pressure with dry nitrogen.
After mounting aircraft tires, check tire pressures daily when they are at ambient temperature, since tire/wheel assemblies can lose as much as 5% of inflation pressure in 24 hours. By observing these procedures for mounting aircraft tires, you’ll experience better results from your tires, Goodyear officials said.
For more information: GoodyearAviation.com