Artillery wheel

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Artillery wheel

The artillery wheel was developed for use on gun carriages when it was found that the lateral forces involved in horse artillery manoeuvres caused normally constructed cart wheels to collapse. Rather than having its spokes mortised into a wooden nave (hub), it has them fitted together (mitred) then bolted into a metal nave. Its tyre is shrunk onto the rim in the usual way but it is also bolted on for security. A normal wagon wheel is dished so that in its lowest part, the spokes are perpendicular to the ground thus supporting the weight (with the axle not truly horizontal but angled downward toward the outside about 5 degrees). This is not done with artillery wheels.

1927 Ford T with artillery wheels

When higher speeds and consequently higher lateral forces were attained with the introduction of motor vehicles, the artillery wheel was used in those too. By the 1920s, motor cars used wheels that looked at a glance like artillery wheels but which were of forged steel or welded from steel pressed sections. These too were usually called artillery wheels.

By the late 1920s the inadequacies of artillery wheels had brought about their sweeping replacement by the more expensive wire wheels.