BIRMINGHAM, England (Sept. 26, 2013) — Dunlop Aircraft Tyres Ltd. has secured a $2.4 million government grant to develop and test "next-generation" aircraft tires that will be lighter and more robust.
The three-year project, which is being run in collaboration with aircraft developer Airbus S.A., will see the specialist aircraft tire manufacturer and retreader focus on developing main-wheel radial tires designed for current and future versions of the A320 family of aircraft.
The project, which in total will cost more than $4.8 million, is being overseen by Steve Barlow, Dunlop Aircraft Tyres' chief designer.
"We are following a phased process which will allow us to innovate with new materials and modelling techniques before designing a new product," he said. "We will be investing in new manufacturing and testing equipment and plan to have the first prototype tires ready by 2014."
The grant was secured from the United Kingdom's Technology Strategy Board.
This latest contact comes on top of commercial contracts with Czech Republic carrier Travel Service Airlines and Flybe Group P.L.C., Europe's largest regional airline, to provide new and retreaded tires.
The Travel Service contract covers nose and main wheel tires for that airline's fleet of 27 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, while the Flybe deal covers nose and main-wheel tires for the carrier's fleet of 14 Embraer 175 aircraft and radial nose-gear tires for its nine Embraer 195s, for five years.
Financial terms were not disclosed.