Do aircraft tyres have inner tubes? Modern small single-engine turboprops to the largest Jumbos. If not, did they ever have inner tubes? And if so, why were they discontinued?


2 Answers 2


From this Goodyear document on aircraft tires, both types exist. For the 747, they are all tube-type.

Tires are tube-type unless otherwise indicated.

The listed 747 civilian variants do not indicate otherwise (page 18).

enter image description here
(Source: wikimedia.org) Cross section of a 747 tire. Full resolution via link is a must see. You can make out the inner tube (flap) from this image.

But that document is from 2002, nowadays tubeless tires are also available for the 747 and many commercial types, for example the 49X19.0-20 Flight Leader by Goodyear (thanks @user71659).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The PDF is old, tubeless tires are available on the 747. From the lists you can see the bizjet and above market has pretty much all gone tubeless. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Feb 3, 2018 at 21:19

They are tubeless.

Why? for the same reasons we have tubeless tyres on our cars.

  1. Punctures are slower. A nail or similar which penetrates the tyre will itself form a plug.

  2. Tubed tyres can handle high speed. Friction between the tyre and tube will causes failure due to heat.

  3. Low pressure in a tubed tyre will quickly escalate into a flat as tubes only work well when properly inflated.

  4. Tyres can move along the rim. You often see index marks in the rim matched to similar marks on the tyre. Not good on a tubeless tyre but really bad on a tubed tyre as this will stress the valve area.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not true that all aircraft have tubeless tires. Many have tires with inner tubes. While I don't know about commercial airliners, many GA planes have wheels which actually separate into two halves by undoing a few bolts, like this: ebay.com/i/232441503859?rt=nc $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Feb 2, 2018 at 4:23
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    $\begingroup$ All of our GA planes and light jets have innertubes. $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Feb 6, 2018 at 23:09

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