When the XB-36 was designed during World War II, specifications called for two main landing gear wheels to be equipped with the largest aircraft tires produced in the U.S. to that time. Manufactured by Goodyear, the tires were 110 inches in diameter and 36 inches in width. Weighing 1,320 pounds, each tire was of 30 percent nylon cord construction -- the equivalent of approximately 60 automobile tires or 12,700 pairs of nylon hose.
Because of the enormous pressures imposed by the XB-36 upon concrete runways when equipped with single wheels, it could take off and land safely at very few airfields. As a result, the single-wheel landing gear was redesigned and production B-36s incorporated four smaller wheels and tires on each of its main landing gears.