I have been following the recent Concorde accident analysis with interest and I am amazed at the solutions being suggested.
I had always thought that the solution to engineering problems was to identify the cause and remove it. The solutions offered appear to be aimed at the effect rather than the cause. Concorde has a tyre defect detection system that warns if a tyre has lost pressure or deflated. This is a system that flags up the result not the cause. The real remedy is to identify that a tyre has a defect before it becomes a problem.
In 1996 I attempted to gain funding for a system that would detect latent defects in vehicle tyres. I was unable to raise the necessary funding and in retrospect the proposed system was beyond the limits of technology then available.
I now hope to gain funding for a study using new technology, to start in October this year. Although the technology is aimed initially at the heavy goods vehicle market, we know it can be applied to rubber tyres regardless of vehicle type.
If successful, the system has the potential to detect potential tyre blow-outs well before they happen. With such a system fitted to an HGV it is hoped to eliminate tyre blow-outs as well as identify other tyre-damaging defects. What can be applied to HGV tyres can also, with modifications, be applied to aircraft tyres.
Roger Todd, Remote Services Technology
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