At EADS' request, Michelin has developed a new tire technology for Concorde, the tyre had been in development at the time of last years crash, but work was subsequently speeded up.
In the weeks that followed the tragic Concorde accident, EADS contacted tire manufacturers across the world, including Michelin, to find out if any research was under way to improve the resistance of tires to damage by foreign objects. Michelin unveiled its last innovation of radial technology: the radial NZG.
This new aircraft tire technology, christened NZG for "Near Zero Growth", uses a high-modulus reinforcement material. This offers higher damage resistance and substantial weight gains, two key qualities in the field of aviation.
" We think that this new tire will be a significant element for the process of recertification of Concorde ", declared Pierre Desmarets, general manager of aviation activity at Michelin.
These tires were tested recently on a Concorde of Air France at Istres, in the military air base of the Rhone delta.
The tires had played a very significant role in the accident of the Concorde of Air France on July 25 2000. One of them had burst after having rolled on a metal plate little before takeoff, projecting large remains against the wall of a fuel tank, causing a breach and then a fuel leakage, followed a violent fire.
Stemming from the radial technology invented by Michelin, the new tire adds to the already existing radial aircraft tire offer. Indeed, in 1981, Michelin was the very first manufacturer to apply the radial technology to the aviation industry.
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