Oct 302016

The tires used on the SR-71 had aluminum integrated into the rubber to help reflect the substantial heat produced by cruising at Mach 3. This was fine aluminum powder *in* the rubber, not just *on* the rubber, so as the tires were worn down from use they remained somewhat shiny. The Hill Aerospace Museum has one of the SR-71 tires on display. Enjoy.

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 Posted by at 2:58 am
  • becida

    I never thought about the fiction heat caused by supersonic flight.
    Where is the Hill Aerospace Museum?

    • sferrin

      Just south west of Odgen Ut. At Hill AFB. 🙂

      • publiusr

        Very nice!

      • becida

        Hill AFB, I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m out that way. Thanks.

        • Scottlowther

          I’ve mentioned Hill and posted photos from there many times on this blog. Do a search on hill aerospace in the search box at upper right. A whole lot of the results data from before The Great Blog Screwup of 2015, where all the links to uploaded files (such as photos) somehow had a spurious extra “/blog” term added to the link addresses. If you see a link to a photo that’s just text, click on it and remove one of the two “/blog” terms, and the photo will come right up. I’ve no freakin’ clue how that happened.

  • Dean H. Fox

    I wonder if the XB-70’s tires were also “impregnated” with Aluminum or just coated (see http://scalepublications.freeyellow.com/XB-70-1s.jpg). From that image, it looks like just the outer “sidewalls” are coated, as the tread looks darker. Next time I’m in Dayton I’ll have to stop by the Museum and see if I can get close enough to the tread to check it out… 🙂

    • Scottlowther

      I seem to recall that the XB-70’s tires were replaced very rapidly… every couple of flights. in which case, simply painting them would be the way to go.

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  • Hogarth Kramer

    They were only good for six landings, so they couldn’t do touch & goes for recurrent training. They just did low approaches.

    The brakes also got quite hot, so they had a set of fans run by a Briggs & Stratton four-cycle engine that they would crank up and put in front of the main wheels as soon as the plane pulled into the hangar and shut down.

  • Randino

    Hmmm…aluminum-impregnated rubber. Sounds like an SRB. But hey, magnesium in aircraft wheels was a pretty spectacular idea, too. (Don’tcha love chemistry?)