Meggitt is working with Textron Aviation to earn STC approvals for installing remote Bluetooth tire pressure sensors on a wide variety of Citations and King Airs that will enable pilots to check tire pressures by means of an iPhone app. Crews can receive tire pressure indications up to 30 meters from the tires, providing easy access to essential tire pressure data during preflight inspections.

Each Meggitt tire pressure sensor adds about 25 grams of net weight to a wheel. Meggitt expects to develop STCs for a wide range of business aircraft in addition to the current offerings from Textron Aviation.

How critical is checking tire pressure on a frequent basis? Under-inflation is the prime reason why tires scuff excessively, if not blow out at high ground speeds. Underinflated tires under-perform on wet or contaminated runways. Proper tire inflation is critical to flight safety on some aircraft. The FAA, for instance, issued an Airworthiness Directive in 2010 that requires Learjet 60 tire pressures to be checked every 96 hours.

Some chief pilots, such as Robert Agostino, former head of Bombardier flight ops, insist on having tire pressure checks done before the first flight every day.