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Thread: Heavy Bomber wheel tyre protection

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    Default Heavy Bomber wheel tyre protection

    Several images exist where heavy bombers are seen with heavy duty coverings over the landing wheels. I presume this was to protect the tyres from fluid drips but have been unable to establish exactly the practice of these coverings which appears sporadic. Has anyone come across anything documenting the practice and or the damage that was likely to be inflicted on the landing gear.

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    Hi Colin
    Wheel covers were indeed used to protect the tyres from Oils,Fuel and particularly Hydraulic fluid - even the old and trusty OM15 (H515) Hyd Fluid would attack the rubber and it would swell badly unless cleaned off immediately (this would then mean a mandatory wheel change/replacement).The covers would also protect the rubber from UV degradation (Ultra Violent light ) and thus increase the life of the tyres.
    Interestingly and confusingly - the correct name for an aircraft tyre in the RAF was 'Wheel Cover' or just 'Cover' but of course most people with perhaps the exception of Tyre Bay personnel just called em 'tyres'

    rgds baz

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    Thank you for those interesting facts, it surprises me that we do not see more images with wheel covers if they could be damaged to that extent. Thanks again.

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    Probably would depend on a number of factors Colin,one being who your boss was :) - some Flight Sergeants/Chiefies/WO's might be hot on it.
    For an aircraft flying almost daily then the UV degradation would not be a real problem (Tyres would wear out before the UV damage) - but an aircraft which was 'sitting around' outside would benefit from covers.
    I worked on aircraft from 1970 to 2015 and we did not tend to use the covers on a daily basis [although rule 1 still applied :)],we did tend to use them during storage and /or servicing,although we also just tended to use plastic sheet as an alternative during servicing to keep the aforementioned OM15 off the tyres (especially whilst bleeding u/c retraction jacks/brakes and 'scragging' u/c legs).

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