LOUISVILLE, Ky.—On the final day of the International Tire and Rubber Association conference and trade show, the talk among attendees sometimes turns to Louisville's upcoming ``Thunder Over Louisville'' air show and accompanying fireworks celebration—called the world's largest pyrotechnical display. This year, International Marketing Inc. fueled some of those discussions by offering trade show tours of ``Fifi,'' the world's only operational B-29 Superfortress bomber.
The vintage World War II aircraft, which was parked at Louisville's Standiford Field airport, uses the company's Equal Tire Performance balancer.
Equal is a dry, granular polymer formula that IMI claims ``improves tire performance by continually and accurately equalizing radial force variations.''
``(Fifi's) recapped tires were experiencing severe vibrations during takeoffs and landings,'' said Charles Jones, vice president for aviation of Chambersburg, Pa.-based IMI.
``To correct this problem, the B-29 crew considered overhauling the nose landing gear. However Continental Airlines, which flight-tested Equal for IMI, recommended the product for use in the bomber's tires.''
The tire balancer solved the nose wheel problem and reduced tire wear, according to Merrill Wien, who pilots the B-29.
Equal, approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for use in selected aviation tires, also is available for truck and motorcycle tires.