AIRCRAFT WHEELS, TIRES, AND TUBES
Chapter Objective: Upon completion of this chapter, you will have a working
knowledge of maintenance procedures and the precautions necessary to properly
maintain aircraft wheels, tires, and tubes.
Modern aircraft wheels are among the most
highly stressed parts of an aircraft. High tire
pressures, cyclic loadings, corrosion, and physical
damage contribute to failure of aircraft wheels.
Complete failure of an aircraft wheel can be
When wheel failure occurs, the
fragments are often propelled several hundred feet.
You must have the ability to identify potential safety
hazards that you will encounter while working on
aircraft tires and wheel assemblies. You must practice
all the safety precautions related to wheel and tire
At the organizational
maintenance level, aircraft wheels are removed
frequently for tire changes, inspections, and
lubrication. Familiarity with various types of wheels
and tires, and related safety precautions, will increase
your ability to perform your duties.
Recognize the com-
ponents of the different types of wheels and
the maintenance responsibilities of both the
O-level and I-level maintenance activities.
Aircraft wheels are made from either aluminum
or magnesium alloys.
These materials provide a
strong, lightweight wheel that requires very little
maintenance. The wheels used on naval aircraft are
of two general typesdivided and remountable
flange. Both of these designs make wheel buildup a
fairly simple operation.
The wheels used with tires and tubes have knurled
flanges to prevent the tire from slipping on the wheel.
Wheels used with tubeless tires have the wheel
sections sealed by an O-ring, and they use special
valves that are a part of the wheel.
DIVIDED (SPLIT) WHEEL
Figure 11-1 shows a typical divided (split) wheel.
This type of wheel is divided into two halves. The
two halves are sealed by an O-ring and held together
with nuts and bolts. Each wheel half is statically
balanced. This procedure allows any two opposite
halves of the same size and type to be joined together
to form one wheel assembly. If the outboard half of a
wheel is beyond repair, a new outboard half may be
drawn from supply. The new outboard half is then
matched to the old inboard half. This type of wheel is
used on nose, main, and tail landing gears.
REMOUNTABLE FLANGE WHEEL
The remountable flange wheel is made so one
flange of the wheel can be removed to change the tire.
The flange is held in place by a lockring.
The wheel is balanced with the flange mounted on
the wheel. Then, both the wheel and flange are
marked. To ensure proper balance of the wheel
during assembly, the two marks should be lined up.
Figure 11-2 shows a typical remountable flange
wheel. This type of wheel is commonly used on the
main landing gear.
The similarity of one wheel to another in size and
shape is not proof that the wheels can be inter-
changed. One wheel may be designed for heavy duty
while the other may be designed to carry a lighter
load. Also, the wheels may be designed for use with
different types of brake assemblies.
TYPICAL WHEEL ASSEMBLY
A complete wheel assembly is shown in
figure 11-3. The wheel casting is the basic unit of the
wheel assembly. It is to this part that all other com-
ponents are assembled and upon which the tire is