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Tire Explosion Aircraft Damage

Overinflation error on a Falcon 10 servicing the nose tire with a fully charged nitrogen bottle. An unfamiliar regulator on the bottle was to blame. Fortunately they had hooked up a long hose to the inflation valve and were standing by the bottle, a few feet from the wheel when it exploded. The wheel spilt, one half impacting a hangar column, the other half impacted a GIII open main entrance door prior to being stopped by a closed hangar door 100 feet from the aircraft.

Tire Explosion Aircraft Damage

 Here is a photo of a recent over inflation accident.  A Lear 60 main wheel was over inflated and one wheel half pierced the exterior of another jet's fuselage.  The cost of this repair was many times the cost of a proper tire cage.  Luckily, no one was injured from this accident.  Click the photo for a larger version.

Compilation Video of all Tire Cage Tests

Due to popular demand, here's a compliation video of all the tire cage tests to date.

Pass ! September 26, 2006 Current Model

Our current model aviation tire cage successfully tested on September 26th, 2006.  We took our 2004 aviation tire cage and improved the design.  An improved lock plate design and redesigned hinge segments performed even better than expected.  There was minor damage to the interior of the cage where the inner blast plates absorbed the majority of the blast.  There was a slight bending of the latch assembly hinge segment, however,  the door was still operable.  This aviation tire cage is the only reliably tested product on the market.  We assemble every cage to exacting standards to ensure a safe product.  

Fail ! Shop Made Tire Cage

A customer donated their shop made tire cage for testing.  The cage was welded from 3/8 inch sheet metal.  One side of the cage traveled 50 yards and made a heavy gouge when it crashed into the angle iron frame of a old diesel fuel tank.  The other side of the cage traveled over one hundred yards over a 15 foot high hill into a pasture. The door of the cage traveled 150 yards from the cage.   This is a worse case scenario for shop built tire cage solutions.  This tire cage design had the potential to make an tire inflation error much worse by adding more deadly shrapnel. Three pieces of 3/8 sheet metal, weighing up to 100 pounds  traveling at high force and speed would at best cause serious hangar or aircraft damage.  The worse case would be serious injury to personnel or death. 

Fail ! Truck Tire Cage

A customer donated their truck tire cage that they had modified with additional steel plating.  The 12 gauge steel plating was added for extra "protection".  The split rim wheel ripped through both sides of the steel tubing.  One wheel half traveled 50 yards from the tire cage.  All of the bolts on the wheel were lost. Leaving the tire assembly with the velocity of a 45 handgun round, we couldn't find them.   The extra "protection" 12 gauge steel plates travel 100 yards from the tire cage.   This tire cage design had the potential to make an tire inflation error much worse by adding more deadly shrapnel and not containing the wheel rim and bolts.  Although light weight, the  sheet metal, traveling at high force and speed would at best cause serious hangar or aircraft damage.  The worse case would be serious injury to personnel or death. 

Pass ! Prototype Five 2004 Test

Our 2004 model aviation  tire cage.  This tire cage was tested with a Gulfstream 4 main landing gear wheel and tire.  In this test the outer flange of the wheel failed. The energy released during this test is approximately 58 times more powerful that a .30-06 bullet at 100 yards.  This tire cage is designed with our dual clam shell design and safety straps that allow the cage to flex to absorb the blast forces. 

Fail ! Prototype Four

This aviation tire cage was tested with a Gulfstream 4 main landing gear wheel and tire.  In this test the outer flange of the wheel failed.  The design incorporated a clam shell type of design on one end of the cage.  However misapplication of the safety straps and the welded back wall of the tire cage resulted in the blown off back wall severing the strap and landing 150 feet from the test sight.  We also discovered that the force of the wheel hitting the back wall allowed a tire cage with wheels  to travel an unsafe distance. 

Fail ! Prototype Two

This aviation tire cage was tested with a Bac 111 main landing gear wheel and tire demonstrating what happens when tie-bolts break.  This tire cage was designed with the aid of an engineering firm that supplied a massive amount of analysis predicting this design would contain the blast.  The 100 pound door of the tire cage again becomes a projectile traveling over 100 feet from the trailer it was mounted on. One of the steel balls from the latching mechanism shot through the 2 x 6 decking on the trailer.   It did not contain the failure.

 

Fail !  Prototype One

This aviation  tire cage was tested with a Gulfstream II main landing gear wheel and tire demonstrating what happens when tie-bolts break.  A 45 caliber hand gun projects it round at approximately 900 feet per second.  Exploding tie-bolts travel at 1,100 feet per second.  The tire cage was placed inside a cinder block concrete enclosure.  This tire cage design was modeled after standard tire cage models when the project was started.  The flaw with this design is trying to contain the blast with a simple tire cage design is not possible.  The door just becomes another projectile.  The yellow blur at the end of the video is a towel that blew over the camera at detonation. 

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