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Published: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Zero's wheel coverings make for difficult tire maintenance

  • These wheel covers on the Zero make it hard to inflate the tires, although they're great for performance.

    Cory Graff

    These wheel covers on the Zero make it hard to inflate the tires, although they're great for performance.

The Zero has fairings that cover the plane’s main landing gear legs and tires almost entirely when they are retracted into the wing. While it is great for performance, speed, and range, the arrangement causes a bit of difficulty when it comes to servicing the fighter’s tires. In order to access the valve stem on the outboard side of the tire, a mechanic must remove a small door in the wheel fairing, roll the plane to the proper position, and then fill the tire. It’s a little easier when the plane is outside, but when the aircraft is snugly stored in a museum setting, the simple task of making sure the tire is properly inflated requires jockeying the aircraft within its small parking place.

Story tags » Military aviationWar -- history

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