Aircraft tires are amazingly rugged. They are designed and built to handle a range of extreme conditions — arguably among the most demanding confronting any vehicular system. Consider a single trip. The tires are motionless as crew and passengers board. The main door closes and the tires begin to roll, slowly at first but soon taxiing and turning at high speed. Next is throttle-up and the wheels become a blur of runway acceleration. Once airborne, they’re tucked away for hours ...

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