Flat tires in the field of war are not a good thing. When an armored vehicle becomes a sitting target, it’s only a matter of time before that group is in trouble. Well, Resilient Technologies, LLC, the DoD, and the School of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin are trying to change all that with a military grade airless tire.
So, what do you do when you want to build a really smart, strong, and innovative design? Yes, you steal an idea from the world around us. Researchers settled on a honeycomb design for its innate strength and obvious advantages in a bullet riddled environment. Such a design allows bullets to pass through the tire. The tire still performs well when it has lost a lot of the honeycomb structure. It also deals with noise and heat very well. More rigorous testing is underway, but the concept looks very promising. Here’s a video of the Tweel, a Michelin concept that is similar, but consumer grade: