JAL and Bridgestone Team Up on Predictive Aircraft Tire Maintenance

Credit: Embraer

Japan Airlines (JAL) is collaborating with Bridgestone Corporation to use tire wear prediction technologies to improve the accuracy of aircraft tire maintenance plans and management. The collaboration will initially focus on Embraer E170 and E190 aircraft operated by J-AIR out of Osaka International Airport in Japan, which use Bridgestone tires.

According to JAL, aircraft tires typically need to be replaced after several hundred takeoffs and landings due to harsh operating conditions, with the rate of tire wear depending conditions such as temperature, runway surface and weight of aircraft. After each flight, maintenance engineers from JAL Engineering Corp visually inspect tires and they are replaced based on guidelines set by the manufacturer and airline.

To determine the optimal time to replace tires, JAL and J-AIR will share undisclosed flight data and aircraft insights with Bridgestone, which will use its digital wear prediction algorithm to estimate tire wear and predict the ideal timing for tire replacement.

The companies say the increased accuracy will improve the efficiency of aircraft maintenance programs and reduce wheel and tire inventories. An added benefit, says Bridgestone, is a reduction in environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions from manufacturing and in-use stages.

The collaboration does not have a fixed end date, but JAL says it is reviewing whether to expand the program to JAL operated aircraft with Bridgestone tires. According to Bridgestone, it is looking at expanding the use of its tire wear prediction technologies to additional airlines.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.