GKN Wheels has launched a new wheel to meet the requirements of high-load capacity vehicles such as aircraft tow tractors.
The wheel was developed to meet the requirements of Goldhofer AG, a manufacturer of aircraft tow tractors. It was designed for the company’s latest machines that are capable of moving the new larger generations of aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A380.
The wheels use GKN Wheels’ patented Heat Impact Forming (HIF) manufacturing technology, which the company said through a combination of forging and machining technology, enables it to manufacture multi-piece wheels that are 50% stronger than conventional designed wheels.
The prototype wheels were subjected to a series of operational tests at the Frankfurt, Germany, airport, with a range of data captured to measure the impact of the tire pressure and loads on the wheel rim. When testing and data analysis was completed, it approved for use with tires up to 13 bars (189 psi) of pressure.
The wheels are now in production. GKN Wheels said other applications include machines used at container ports and underground mines.