Aircraft tyres have to withstand a lot of stresses and must be kept in good condition to prevent accidents.
On many of the aircraft on display in the Museum you will see small white marks on the tyres and wheel rims. These marks are applied when a new tyre is fitted and are designed to help air and ground crew to spot tyre creep. This is the slight movement of the tyre relative to the wheel, which can take place when an aircraft lands – particularly if the pilot misjudges his approach, applies the brakes too heavily or if there is a cross-wind during landing.
For tyres fitted with an inner tube, tyre creep damages the valve by forcing it against its seating in the wheel. If such damage goes undetected, it can result in a tyre burst, with potentially disastrous consequences during take-off or landing. As long as the white marks on the tyre and wheel rim remain aligned no tyre creep has taken place, but if the marks move apart the tyre should be removed and the inner tube checked and, if necessary, changed.
Collection Ref: X001-5348