HomeNewsArticle Display

World-unique tire testing capability saves millions for warfighters

Barrett at LGTF briefed by Sami Labban

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett is briefed by Sami Labban at the Landing Gear Test Facility, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, April 21, 2020. Engineers at the facility have developed a new, one-of-a-kind test capability that can identify, characterize and classify tire wear under realistic operational conditions – saving thousands per tire over the life cycle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- The ability of an aircraft’s tires to endure a landing at high speeds is critical to an Air Force pilot returning to land following an operational flight.

However, predicting aircraft tire wear is a complex, time-intensive phenomenon, highly dependent on multiple variables. Historically, testers focused on the structural integrity of a tire prior to fielding and use. However, the ability to quickly and accurately predict tire wear remained a challenge across the logistics community – until now.

At the Air Force Test Center’s Landing Gear Test Facility located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, engineers have developed a new, one-of-a-kind test capability that can identify, characterize and classify tire wear under realistic operational conditions – saving thousands per tire over the life cycle.

“This capability significantly reduces acquisition development timelines, life cycle costs and mishap risks prior to production and fielding,” said Gary Wollam, 704th Test Group’s Aerospace Survivability and Safety Office director. “We’re combining digital modeling, testing and field data to effectively replicate runway surfaces and predict the behavior of a tire over time. This improves the safety of a tire and can identify issues prior to actual manufacturing and implementation on an aircraft.”

Missionized Tire Wear Testing, an effort augmented by AFMC Squadron Innovation Funds, leverages specialized lasers and digital scanning technologies with a 168-inch internal drum dynamometer – a machine that operates at speeds up to 350 mph and can provide variable levels of brake torque for aircraft tire wear testing. Replicated 3D runway surfaces enable predictive tire-wear data based on tests that use realistic ground conditions, therefore identifying potential issues and providing for design improvements early in the manufacturing process.

“The ability to clone and replicate individual runway surfaces to examine tire interactions is key to this capability,” Wollam said. “We can examine takeoff, taxi and landing conditions, with the data leading to the identification of better tire wear requirements for future tire specs.”

Wollam identified a number of recent successes leveraging the testing technology.

The data from recent missionized wear tests improved tire life for one platform from approximately two to more than 24 landings per tire, with savings anticipated to exceed $6 million per year.

As a key tool in the KC-135 Life Cycle Cost Program assessment, the technology simulated the impacts of three years of landings on a tire in less than six months. The data collected is predicted to result in nearly $1.2 million in cost savings per one tire across the fleet over the next three years.

During a recent T-38 mishap investigation, the tool was used to assess cross-wind landing conditions. The testers were able to accurately replicate mishap conditions and results in a ground test environment. This resulted in new tactical guidance for landings that will be implemented into training simulators, thereby improving pilot safety.

“This next generation technology has helped us to fill test gaps, reduce flight test risks and reduce life cycle costs for the DoD fleet,” Wollam said. “This is just another one of our world-unique capabilities. As the premier Department of Defense landing gear ground test organization, we continue to innovate and push technology to ensure the safety and readiness of our warfighters.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Special Tactics operators from the 24th SOW participated in a personnel recovery training mission during #EmeraldWarrior
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: It is my honor to be a part of this incredible event at the @AFmuseum. To see an exhibit celebrating the accomplishment…
Twitter
Check out the latest Air Force Week in Photos! Which is your favorite? See more the 🔗: https://t.co/EJKDIKhaE7 https://t.co/iQXfYWBA0w
Twitter
.@KadenaAirBase Airmen train with a #CV22Osprey during exercise Gryphon Jet 21 @374AirliftWing. Gryphon Jet exercis… https://t.co/vhR2nGmjMM
Twitter
#DYK On Sept. 26, 2005, the first all-female C-130 Hercules crew flew in combat. They were assigned to the 737th Ex… https://t.co/0F9vT7bgDz
Twitter
As part of @AETCommand's efforts to #AccelerateChange, Airmen and Guardians can access the “myLearning” digital pla… https://t.co/mAaG4pK8vi
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: During a recent visit to @DMAFB, a member of the staff knew I liked Spider-Man, so he placed one on a document used durin…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Kicking off #WomensHistoryMonth, CMSgt. Naconda Hinton shares her story of climbing the ranks and becoming the first fema…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: How it started... How it’s going... Where it’s headed is up to you all. https://t.co/AwfY7DNtMb
Twitter
The B-21 Raider program continues to progress through the engineering and manufacturing development acquisition pha… https://t.co/11TSJHDBVU
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Tune in tonight as the @AFmuseum opens the 'Women in the Air Force' exhibit! #WomensHistoryMonth
Twitter
Nancy Harkness Love was an American pilot during #WW2. She pushed for and lead a group of female pilots to ferry ai… https://t.co/jSTe3yaQkd
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Air, Space & Army! Thanks for the ride! @16thSMA - your Soldiers were true professionals. #BetterTogether https://t.…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: THIS! Airmen taking care of Airmen! 🙌🏼 Have a fantastic Friday, folks — close it out strong. Take care of each other.…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: I’m always impressed to see the advanced training that happens at @NellisAFB and the Nevada Test and Training Range. This…
Twitter
.@341MissileWing supported @HQUSAFEAFAF’s Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control demo. The wing contributed… https://t.co/PeUDHxeDhc
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: I know we said Friday, but we wanted to get this out to you soonest. PT tests are pushed to 1 July. This is the right…
Twitter
Fueling the fight. #ReadyAF 😎 https://t.co/P21eDRLvXE
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Daniel Hulter & Austin Wiggins — appreciate the time and look forward to continuing the conversation...and of course,…
Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: #GenMilley: Today we are in the middle of a fundamental change in the character of war. Partnerships w/ industry will pr…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,331,486
Follow Us