LoPresti Debuts Flat-Free Aircraft Tires
LoPresti Aviation Engineering introduced their new "NeverFlat Lifesaver" aircraft tires recently at the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association annual fly-in, held in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We named it the NeverFlat because that's what it does -- it never goes flat," RJ Siegel, LoPresti's CEO said. "It's the first aviation tire with a wound carbon fiber band embedded in the circumference of the tire. It's just about impossible to puncture this tire, and even if you could, it still wouldn't go flat. It's an unpressurized system with load and suspension characteristics matched to the aircraft's needs." Siegel told AVweb this week the introduction was met with enthusiasm by Cirrus owners. "We had 20 orders in the first five minutes," Siegel said. "We were kind of blown away."
Siegel said the new tires are in their final design stages and the company expects them to be available to Cirrus SR20 and SR22 owners in late December. A pair of mains cost $1,299, he said, and the nosewheel tire, which is not yet available, will be about $450 to $500. The tires will come with a 10-year warranty. The company also is working with Cessna to develop never-flat tires for their line of jets. Siegel said he expects the jet market to be the biggest customer for the tires, since the avoidance of downtime and labor costs to deal with flat tires will justify the price. But the primary motivation for developing the tires is safety, Siegel said. Flat or under-inflated tires have been a factor in fatal accidents. The tires are specifically designed for individual aircraft, he added, so the Cirrus tires can only be used on the SR20 and SR22. He said the next market the company is targeting is the Cessna jet line, but the 172 is another possibility.