Are tyres custom designed for each new aircraft model or is there a lot of standardization & cross use across models? When a designer starts on a new model is there a list of standard tire sizes to choose from?

Is the situation similar for general aviation / military aircraft?


1 Answer 1


Aircraft tires are indeed standardized by size and specification and with applications across models.

There is certainly a long list of available sizes and variations, just as with automotive tires. When needed for a new aircraft type design, these existing tire models are available to be incorporated into that design.

There are certainly many aircraft types that have necessitated special tire specifications through the history of aviation development, especially with the more esoteric military aircraft. Of course, this is how that extensive list of available tires came to be.

Aircraft tires are dimensioned by several measurements (as depicted in the images below):

  • Outside Diameter (A),
  • Cross Sectional Width (B),
  • and Inner (Rim) Diameter (C).

These dimensions will be noted as AxB-C. In some cases the A is left out for a B-C notation (see examples in the table of "Type III Nylon Tube Type Tires" below).

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Air Hawk tires are one brand that I handle frequently; their tire products give a good representation of the generic sizes and specifications available. Follow the above link for examples from their online catalog.

See also this excerpt from their Aircraft Tires Specifications sheet showing examples of common dimensions and plys:

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Goodyear has an exhaustive databook covering technical specifications for their commercial and military aircraft tires.

See that here: The Aircraft Tire DataBook

Specific data on the proper tire sizes for different aircraft main and auxiliary/nose gear, speed ratings, nominal inflation pressures, dimensions, and other data needed by users to obtain the maximum service from their aircraft tires are presented in this booklet.

  • $\begingroup$ So, do the manufacturer's have to get separate approval for each tyre model they make from FAA? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ As I understand it, no, they don't necessarily need a PMA. Complying with a TSO can be sufficient; in this case FAA TSO 62. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ Is there ever a chance of accidentally putting the "wrong" tyre on? Or does the shape / hub connectors etc. prevent that? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the mechanic or operator might mistakenly install a tire that was either the wrong size or otherwise not approved. Generally speaking there might be multiple tires that would fit on one rim, but would be otherwise excessively large or small in one or more dimensions, or would have a ply, weight, or pressure rating different than called for. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @curious_cat For example, a Goodyear 606C46-6 is an appropriate tire for a C172M main gear assembly, with a nominal outside diameter of 17". Theoretically, a Goodyear 706C61-4 would fit on the same rim (6.00-6), but would have a nominal outside diameter of 18.5". Since the inflation and load ratings for the later tire exceed the ratings for the former, there might not be any problem with load bearing performance, but the outside diameter would differ by 1.5" or more, if properly inflated. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 14:55

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