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a breakthrough in aircraft tire design

Michelin takes flight with Air X Sky Light, 
a breakthrough in aircraft tire design



Michelin TiresGREENVILLE, S.C., July 25, 2023 – A new generation of aviation tires has arrived. The Michelin  Air X Sky Light tire, designed to allow airlines to cut both weight and costs, increasing their bottom line, is now launching in the North American market.

Debuted in Europe at the 54th Paris Air Show in June 2023, the Michelin Air X Sky Light tire is a new radial tire technology developed for commercial aviation, a world first. As a result of multiple performance breakthroughs, the overall tire weight has been reduced by 10%-20%[1]. While offering a better performance over the long-term Landing Per Tread (LPT), the tire’s lifespan is extended by an additional 10%-20% from previous generations.

To design the Air X Sky Light tire, Michelin looked at the overall standard life cycle for tires from an environmental perspective. This approach demonstrated that the weight is by far the parameter with the most impact (90 to 98%), and that this occurs during the usage phase.

“Not only will this new tire lower overall weight on the aircraft, resulting in substantial fuel savings, but it will cut CO2 emissions as well,” said M. Scott Murray, Scott Murray, VP of aircraft tire sales, Michelin North America, Inc. “Providing lighter weight tires has long been a key mechanism across our product portfolio to both minimize CO2 while maximizing the utility of every ounce of material we deploy in our products. This is at the heart of the sustainable mobility we aspire to deliver to every customers.”

Carrying the weight of tires at high altitudes results is a major consumption of energy, as the tires on a landing gear assembly can range from under 110 lbs. to over 4,440 lbs. (under 50 kg to over 2,000 kg.) so reducing weight was a distinct challenge.

“Technological breakthroughs allow us to provide a lighter product and thus more efficient aircraft, without any compromise to safety,” said Murray. “The combination of innovations, across technology and design, make the Michelin Air X Sky Light tire an important milestone in Michelin’s on-going journey to enable mobility that is safer and more efficient while also being more environmentally conscious.”

With more than 50 years of experience serving the aviation industry, Michelin supplies customers across the globe, including commercial and regional airlines and general and military aviation.

Michelin currently is partnered with some of the world’s largest aviation companies, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Airbus, Bombardier, Comac, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hondajet, Lockheed Martin, Pilatus and Textron.

[1] Based on an internal study and compared to previous generations of Michelin aircraft tires.