Thursday, November 28, 2013

U.S. Military begins rolling on airless tires [VIDEO]

Air compressor manufactures take note.
Polaris has begun production of a non-pneumatic tire for all terrain vehicles.
The company has begun deliveries of its MV850 ATV fitted with the flat-proof TerrainArmor tires to the U.S. Special Operations Forces, and plans to introduce a retail version 

The innovation is more of a wheel/tire combination that features a rubber tread band supported by a polymeric web for structure that is also able to deform like an air-filled tire as it rolls over obstacles to provide cushioning.
Polaris says the tires can take a shot from a .50 caliber round without failing, and one was driven on for over 1,000 miles off-road after it was punctured by a railroad spike. They've been tested up to 5,000 miles on ATVs packed with a full combat load.
Earlier this year, the company donated several of the vehicles to the Salvation Army to assist with relief efforts in the wake of the Moore tornado in Oklahoma, and says they performed perfectly while traversing the debris left by the storm.
Polaris Sportsman WV850 - Airless Tire ATV
Though the ATV doesn’t come cheap (you’ll need a cool $15,000 if you want to enjoy off-roading without tire concerns), the beast will survive through very rugged terrain, and it will take a lot to render its tires unusable. The TerrainArmor tires are able to continue traveling 350 miles after suffering damage from a .50 caliber rifle, and can make 1000 miles despite running over a railroad spike. You can see it handle some pretty angular rocks, too, in the video above.
As far as the Sportsman itself goes, the ATV offers a single-speed transmission and can tow up to 1500 pounds, boosting that number to 3500 with a winch. The gas tank holds 11.75 gallons of fuel, as well, so you’ll be able to go a fair distance before having to find a gas station. The production is limited, with sales starting in December.
An obvious Sportsman standout feature, the TerrainArmor non-pneumatic tires were first developed for the US military to give warfighters mobility when faced with enemy ballistics, gnarled surfaces, and otherwise crippling obstacles. Passed along to the consumer, Polaris projects the airless tires will:
Never go flat.
Endure longer, less fatiguing work days in combination with the WV850's electronic power steering and 11.75-gallon fuel capacity.
Collaborate with a 77 HP engine and automatic, military-grade transmission to force any treacherous person, animal, inanimate object, or zombified Hoda & Kathie Lee that crosses its path to ESAD.
With a starting price of $14,999, the WV850 H.O. sits atop the Polaris ATV lineup and is primarily marketed as a work ATV, but would almost guarantee that you’ll make it back from your next deep woods hunting excursion and may be the perfect addition for your doomsday BOL. That’s “bug-out location” to you unprepared types.