RE: B-17 & B-29 Wheel Part Numbers
Phillip.....Yes, I can explain....The original B-17 wheel was a one-piece wheel that used a snap ring to hold the tire & tube
on....the two piece B-29 type wheel is composed of two halves that are bolted together.
All of the flying B-17s and B-24s now use the B-29 type whee, along with the CAF B-29. l
The B-17 wheel was subject to corrosion where the snap ring...a hollow bent piece of tubing, made from steel, was used.
Some of the heavy truck wheels are of the snap ring type construction, and are very dangerous to inflate....as the snap ring has been known to disengage, and became a missile under the air pressure. It is recommeded that a cage is used to contain ANY wheel where the tire pressure can cause damage to equipment or persons, if it disengages, or where the bolts holding the two halves fail.
The B-52 (tubeless) wheels carried some 260 lbs of air pressure or nitrogen. Now, the use of nitrogen is required, to air up an aircraft wheel...there was a study, where, with as little as 10% O2 content internally in the tire, and with the heat of an aircraft brake where the aircraft brakes are used on landiing. the heat migrates to the tire, and may cause a fire and explosion.
ALL aircraft maintenance, and fire fighter personnel, are cautioned to approach a hot wheel with overheated brakes from the end of the wheel rather than from the side, to prevent injury in the event the wheel and tire explode due to the heat from the overheated brake.
Jim :-) 20+ years in the USAAFand USAF..Aircraft Maintainer.