PARIS (June 18, 2001) – Goodyear said it has tripled production of radial aircraft tires at its Danville, Va., plant in answer to increased worldwide customer demand.
The Akron-based company, which considers itself the world leader in aviation tires, announced the move on the eve of the Paris air show.
Goodyear said it has invested more than $10 million in the Danville expansion, which included adding manufacturing space and installing a new tire-building system. Additional production capacity at the plant went on stream earlier this month.
Radial tires produced on the new equipment fit commercial aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 and military and private aircraft.
Goodyear General Manager for Aviation Products Alex Dumm said the additional capacity is a direct response to the growth of the radial segment of the aviation marketplace. “Radialization is beginning to happen because of the advantages of radial tires," he said.
Goodyear´s Flight Radials for commercial aircraft, the company said, weigh 10 to 20 percent less than comparable bias-ply aircraft tires, have reduced rolling resistance leading to increased fuel efficiency. They also boast extra load-carrying capacity and can deliver more landings per tread. All add up to reduced overall operational costs.
"Although many new aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and 767-400 and many aircraft manufactured by Airbus are equipped with radial-ply tires, bias-ply tires continue to dominate the aviation marketplace," Mr. Dumm said.
"This is because of their long record of safety, dependability and performance and the significant cost of qualifying radial tires for aircraft already in service.
"Goodyear works very closely with airframe manufacturers to develop and qualify radials and bias-ply tires for their new aircraft. Bias-ply tires continue to be preferred by the majority of our customers and we will continue to develop our bias and radial product offerings to satisfy those customers´ needs," he added.
Mr. Dumm said Goodyear has been at the forefront of aviation radial tire development and claims a number of aviation "firsts." Among them are the first tubeless aircraft tire, 1954; first (and only) tires on the moon, 1971; first aircraft tire with aramid, 1980; first radial tire approved by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, 1983; first commercial aircraft certified with radial tires, 1985; first commercial aircraft in service with radial tires, 1986; first radial retread approved by FAA, 1986.