Re: Concorde tyres

Date:         18 Mar 2001 12:06:20 
From:         Pete Finlay <>
Organization: Expensive Desktop Paperweights
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In article <airliners.2001.9@ditka.Chicago.COM>, Pete Mellor
<> writes
>Dear all,
>There have been a number of different reports about how (and/or "if")
>tyre failure contributed to the recent crash of Concorde.
>A few queries to the list:-
>1. How come *any* aircaft tyre fails catastrophically? Surely fuse
>   plugs should ensure that a tyre fails in a controlled and
>   predictable fashion if overstressed?

Sometimes, but not always. Aircraft tyres are usually inflated to
anywhere up to 230 p.s.i. All it takes is something to puncture the

>2. One newspaper reported that experts from the Goodyear Co. had
>   flown in from the US to assist the investigation. Presumably
>   this is because Goodyear supplied the tyres for Concorde?

Maybe for the Air France aircraft.

>3. A friend of mine claims to have heard a report on a news bulletin
>   (which I did not hear myself, and have been unable to confirm from
>   press reports) that the French and British fleets use different
>   tyres, hence the willingness of BA to continue flights while
>   Air france keeps its fleet grounded. Does anyone know anything
>   about this?

BA uses different tyres from Air France. That was not the only reason BA
kept flying after the crash. Until the preliminary findings were
released by the French, there was no reason to ground the BA aircraft.
They operate under a different C. of A.

>4. As a variant on 3 above, a more recent report had it that the
>   French fleet had retained some sort of "cover" on the bogies
>   that had been removed from the British fleet in a modification
>   following an early incident in which it contributed to the
>   rupture of a fuel tank or line after a tyre blow-out. Again,
>   does anyone know anything?

The report was wrong. There is a water deflector fitted in front of each
bogie. BA modified their water deflectors by strengthening them quite a
few years ago. The French did not.

Pete Finlay