The original B-36’s 110-inch landing gear wheels are the largest aircraft tyres ever produced. Those gargantual tyres were only employed on the XB-36, YB-36 and XC-99. Technical and, mainly, operational issues condemmed their operation: their balancing was difficult; the replacement was labor intensive; a single failure scenario was critical……and an airfield survey discovered early on (spring 1944) that only three -yeah, 3!- US airfields could endure the massive stress exerted on their runways by these wheels.
Improvements in brake technology and a multi-wheel undercarriage design solved the problem.
Grace Purcelly playfully poses with the gigant wrench used on the Goodyear’ tyre single lug.