jumpin\’ timmy

July 2, 2007

Those must be great tires!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jumpintimmy @ 3:54 am

My Saturn is sporting a great set of Goodyear Assurance ComforTreds that I highly recommend if you’re wanting a quiet, long-lasting yet affordable tire. But the arrival Sunday of space shuttle Atlantis to our little strip of pavement in Bellevue, Nebraska got me thinking about the tires on the 747 that does the hauling.

The story says the 747 is a “modified” craft, so maybspace_shuttlesff_nenh102_20070701200636.jpge the tires they use are different than for passenger use. Maybe they slap on the ComforTreds when hauling passengers, but pop on the tough TripleTreds when it’s shuttle haulin’ time. For some fun facts about the Boeing 747, see this page. As it turns out, the 747 is an 18-wheeler… sixteen main gear treads plus the “wheelie” pair up front. The shuttle hauler is likely a 747-400 Freighter model, and is capable of handling about 875,000 pounds of vehicle and fuel at lift off.

One site I found claims a shuttle and cargo maximum weight of about 230,000 pounds. This is a great fit with the Freighter’s max cargo capacity of about 245,000 pounds. It would be interesting to know a bit more about the effect of putting that shuttle pup on top… maybe adds a touch of lift, a ton of drag and a sluggish feel to the controls?

Let’s see… 18 tires and that much weight… that’s almost 50,000 pounds per tire at take off! Incredible… they’ve gotta be Goodyears. But the shuttle itself is shod with Michelins and that tire gets a workout. Just imagine – must handle bitter cold and vacuum of space, yet withstand landing at 250 MPH. Wonder how many landings they get on a set?

I think I’ll get the daughter up early and toss her on the motorcycle. Maybe we can hang out near the base and watch the Freighter take off with Atlantis.

Reminds me of a joke… old Billy Carter was in Atlanta and asked about getting a plane ticket to go to Dallas. The counter clerk told him they had a direct flight to Dallas departing at 10:00 AM that would arrive at 10:20 Dallas time. Billy asked for clarification. “You mean to tell me that plane will get from Atlanta to Dallas in just 20 minutes?” The clerk confirmed the schedule. “Would you like a ticket?” she asked. “Heck NO,” replied Billy, “but if you don’t mind I think I’ll stick around to watch that sucker take off!”


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