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Thread: Lancaster tyre covers

  1. #1
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    Default Lancaster tyre covers

    I have often seen wartime photos of Lancasters at dispersal with tire/tyre covers and puzzled over their purpose...wouldn't the wing protect them from the rain I thought? The subject came up again while reading Sir Arthur Harris' Despatch. He writes that the lack of tyre covers was a very serious problem in 1944, and the problem would have been solved with the use of treaded tires.
    Can anyone explain the purpose of tire covers and why they were so vital?
    All the best and thanks,
    Clint

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lancaster tyre covers

    The covers were primarily there to prevent oil leaking onto the tyres. Oil damages rubber tyres, creating weak points. I have no doubt the covers also provided protection from the elements, but I understand that this was a secondary consideration.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default Re: Lancaster tyre covers

    Hi Clint
    As Jonny posted above the Tyre Covers stopped Oils/Fuel dripping onto the tyre,Hydraulic oil/Fluid being the worst as it makes the Rubber swell up badly and could write off an otherwise serviceable tyre.The covers would also keep the worst of the weather off the rubber,also keeping UV (ultra violent) Light off the rubber as it could degrade rubber quite quickly.

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    Default Re: Lancaster tyre covers

    Thank you both...I had not thought of dripping oil and UV.

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    Default Re: Lancaster tyre covers

    Hi Clint
    Hydraulic Oil/Fluid is a real enemy of tyres - it can probably attack tyre rubber in less than 1 Hour.The Landing Gear Jacks/Actuators and associated Valves and Pipery were up in the engine nacelles and mainplane,they can have slight leaks/weeps at any time and even more so in cold weather.

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