Goodyear Aviation to Double Radial Tyre Capacity by 1Q 2011
Goodyear Aviation has announced today at the NBAA2010 show in Atlanta that its radial aircraft tyre expansion project will be completed by the first quarter of 2011 – ahead of schedule – which will double the company’s radial tyre production capacity. The radialisation of aircraft tyres is a key economical and ecologically-friendly strategy in the aviation industry’s attempts to burn less fuel per passenger, since radial tyres are lighter than the bias or crossply alternatives. The move towards radialisation in the industry has been slow not just because of the changes required in long-lasting hardware, but also because aircraft tyres are retreaded frequently and crossply tyres provide extra casing strength to allow the process to be completed more times; an issue the UK’s Dunlop Aircraft Tyres chairman Ian Edmondson discussed at length with Tyres & Accessories earlier in the year (see below for a link to this interview).
“Goodyear has always been an innovator in radial aircraft tyres, having introduced the first FAA-approved radial tyre in 1983,” said Bert Aertssen, Goodyear Aviation’s global general manager. “In view of recent structural changes in the market place, we recognized that the demand for radial aircraft tyres would continue to increase. Therefore, we jumped ahead of the growth curve and launched in 2008 an important expansion project that will result in doubling our capacity to build light weight radial tyres to serve our airline, military and business jet customers by the end of the first quarter 2011.”
Goodyear says it has “continuously devised new technologies to provide light weight aircraft tyres, with no compromise in toughness”. The introduction of light alloy metal bead cores, and body plies made from the merger of tough yet light materials such as aramid and nylon, has resulted in further weight reduction of its radial tyres that are capable of performing in the high stress environment of the aviation industry.
“In the more than 100 years that we have been providing innovative solutions to the aviation industry, our desire to help our customers reduce their cost of operation has always been our driving force,” said Aertssen. “Our radial tyres provide operators all over the world with the right, technologically advanced solutions to further improve their competitiveness.” Goodyear will have the radial fitment for the prestigious Gulfstream G650 business jet when it enters service in 2012.
“The expansion of our radial capacity provides Goodyear with even more flexibility to work with customers on new products and fitments, such as this exciting opportunity with Gulfstream,” continued Aertssen. “We look forward to making similar announcements of new business opportunities in the near future.”