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  #1  
Old 09-02-2020, 07:08 AM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,568
Default Michelin Air Stop tires

After 14 and a half years, and 1150 hours, and many tire changes, I have finally swapped out my original air stop tubes. It has been an experiment of mine, to see how long they would last.
Typically I would add air about twice a year but this last winter the right tube required an extra shot of air. To me this was a sign that maybe it was time for the experiment to end.
These tubes are quite expensive but worth every penny. I am not recommending that others go 14 years but my experience has been very positive. I initially changed to the airstop tires as I was getting tired of adding air all the time to my tubes on prior airplanes. Twice a year is ok with me.
The rocket can be hard on tires and my current set are Dresser retreads and they are superior to all other tires I have used over the years. They are a little larger and definitely heavier but work the work of opening the wheel pants a little.
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CPL & IFR rated
EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
RV4, RV7, RV10, two HRIIs and five F1 Rockets
RV14 Tail dragger

Fairlea Field
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fairleafield@gmail.com
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2020, 07:33 AM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,335
Default

+1 for Tom's comments.

Indeed, the price of those tubes is breathtaking, but they are worth it.

Nothing is worse than rushing to the airport only to find low tires. Ugh.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2020, 08:27 AM
jliltd jliltd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 1,008
Default

My exact experience matches Tom and Vince's comments above:

Michelin AirStop Butyl= Awesome and what you would expect for aircraft

Natural Rubber = Next Best. Work great but require regular air checks and filling.

Desser/Aero Classic Leakguard Butyl = Don't even qualify for hit and miss. Flat-out ticking time bombs. Stay away.

The AirStop and Leakguard are Butyl which is a synthetic material. Use lots of baby powder during installation for these as they don't do well with friction against the inside of the tire casing. In the case of my least favorite Leakguards they don't leak down, they completely pop when the mold line areas of the tube chaffe inside the tire. No prior indications. Just instant flat. As a result don't use lower pressures with the Leakguard brand as that causes more chaffing. i have not experienced this same problem with the Michelin AirStops as they are manufactured differently.

We had a spat of flat tires show up a few years back and we discovered the blow-out behavior of the Leakguards. Since ridding the fleet of Leakguards the problem has gone away. i don't know what the price difference between all three options outlined above but one flat tire with the potential of wheel pant damage or ground loop makes that look like chump change. Especially if at a controlled field who sends the FBO out to load the flat tire onto a dolly for a tow in.

Jim
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Last edited by jliltd : 09-02-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2020, 08:50 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,137
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
After 14 and a half years, and 1150 hours, and many tire changes, I have finally swapped out my original air stop tubes. It has been an experiment of mine, to see how long they would last.
Typically I would add air about twice a year but this last winter the right tube required an extra shot of air. To me this was a sign that maybe it was time for the experiment to end.
These tubes are quite expensive but worth every penny. I am not recommending that others go 14 years but my experience has been very positive. I initially changed to the airstop tires as I was getting tired of adding air all the time to my tubes on prior airplanes. Twice a year is ok with me.
The rocket can be hard on tires and my current set are Dresser retreads and they are superior to all other tires I have used over the years. They are a little larger and definitely heavier but work the work of opening the wheel pants a little.
Just out of curiosity, did you try changing the valve core when the tube started leaking? Just wondering if it was the tube or the valve.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2020, 03:15 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,568
Default

I did remove the valve core, blew it off and put back in. There was still a very slow leak, kind of like you would get from normal off the shelf tubes.
I do not recommend keeping your tubes for 14 years; it was a bit of an experiment, your milage may vary
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Tom Martin RV1 pilot 4.6hours!
CPL & IFR rated
EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
RV4, RV7, RV10, two HRIIs and five F1 Rockets
RV14 Tail dragger

Fairlea Field
St.Thomas, Ontario Canada, CYQS
fairleafield@gmail.com
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2020, 03:43 PM
RV6_flyer's Avatar
RV6_flyer RV6_flyer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NC25
Posts: 3,639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
I did remove the valve core, blew it off and put back in. There was still a very slow leak, kind of like you would get from normal off the shelf tubes.
I do not recommend keeping your tubes for 14 years; it was a bit of an experiment, your milage may vary
I installed the AirStop tubes May 22, 2005 at 1,671.0 Hobbs hours. They have been trouble free and are now 15-years old. As of today, they have been trouble free for 1,816.8 Hobbs hours since new.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2020, 05:42 PM
erich weaver's Avatar
erich weaver erich weaver is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,719
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Just to fill in the blanks here, ACS price for a Michelin Airstop 5.00-5 tUbe is $119.50
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2020, 11:49 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 3,749
Default Van's price

Quote:
Originally Posted by erich weaver View Post
Just to fill in the blanks here, ACS price for a Michelin Airstop 5.00-5 tUbe is $119.50
And Van's price for a tube of the same size is $59.00 - so essentially the best on the market is double the "base price".

"When you buy the best, you only cry once!" -A wise man I used to work with.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2020, 06:18 AM
RV8iator's Avatar
RV8iator RV8iator is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Saint Simons Island , GA
Posts: 1,565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rv8ch View Post
And Van's price for a tube of the same size is $59.00 - so essentially the best on the market is double the "base price".

"When you buy the best, you only cry once!" -A wise man I used to work with.
So for Tom and Gary that’s about $7.75ish a year per wheel.
Cheap insurance..
Mine are 9 years old so I’m paying higher premiums.
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2020, 08:01 AM
mdoyle mdoyle is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Xenia, OH
Posts: 151
Default

I purchased a pair of Desser/Aero Classic Leakguard Butyl tubes for my RV12 at Oshkosh last year. The sales guy said they are made of the same material as the Michelin tubes. They may be the same material, but the Dresser tubes I purchased need additional air, frequently.
I just purchased a pair of the Michelin Airstop tubes to replace them.
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