Prior Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


The impact an aircraft has on its tires when it lands has been problematic practically since the invention of the airplane. Upon touchdown, the tires frequently smoke as rubber burns off and tire material is worn away while the tires slip up to a steady rolling speed. To minimise tire slip, torque or spin mechanisms could be added to each tire assembly to accelerate the tire to match the landing speed. Patents have been registered since the 1940s to improve tire safety and performance, decrease the substantial wear that results from every landing, and save airline companies the cost of regularly replacing expensive worn tires and to clean tarmacs. In this paper, a case study is presented of a Boeing 747-400 aircraft touching down on a runway and its wheels spinning up to match the forward speed of the aircraft as it rolls along the runway. A LuGre friction model is employed to simulate the dynamic behaviour of the tires during a typical landing, and Archard wear theory is used to compare tire wearing between initially static and pre-spun wheels. We conclude that the amount of rubber worn from the tire on each landing is proportional to the kinetic energy that the wheel must gain to reach a free-rolling velocity. Therefore tire wear is proportional to the square of the initial difference between wheel speed and horizontal aircraft velocity.



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