Traveling at 170 miles per hour, a nearly 100-ton aircraft skims the surface above the tarmac. A few seconds later, the airplane touches down, small puffs of smoke emerging from the tires when they touch the ground.
This scene occurs thousands of times a day.
Airplane wheels are essential for ensuring that each landing happens safely. They experience a tremendous amount of stress and brake-generated heat during landing, so they must be strong. But they also need to be lightweight. Consequently, most