How Many Wheels Do Airplanes Have?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

Airplanes are huge machines that can travel at amazing speeds and carry enormous amounts of weight. They have to be able to withstand huge forces on landings and taxiing and also distribute those massive loads evenly so that the runway surface is not damaged by concentrated areas of excessive stress. It’s therefore no surprise that airplane wheels are designed to be as robust as possible. They can range in number from just a single tire to over 30 wheels!

How Many Airplane Wheels Do Boeing 777 and A380 Have?

The number of wheels in a commercial aircraft is very closely related to the Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of the airplane. The larger the aircraft, the more weight it can carry and thus the more wheels it needs to have for its landing gear. This is why we see that the majority of modern commercial passenger aircraft have two main landing gears with four wheels each.

Smaller prop planes and business jets tend to have a slightly different arrangement of landing gear wheels. Depending on the aircraft type, they may have just a single nose wheel or two smaller 'outrigger' wheels, one under each wing.

The world’s largest cargo jet, the Antonov An-225, uses 32 wheels to spread its enormous 1.4 million pounds over the runway. This is a record that might be hard to beat as the An-225 is now a very rare aircraft due to its involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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