BFGoodrich

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This article is about the tire brand. For the company formerly known as B.F. Goodrich Company, see Goodrich Corporation.
BFGoodrich
Industry Automobile tires
Founded 1870; 146 years ago (1870)
Founder Benjamin Goodrich
Website www.bfgoodrich.com
Logo bfgoodrich.jpg
Series of BFGoodrich off-road tires

BFGoodrich is a former American manufacturer of tires. Originally part of the industrial conglomerate Goodrich Corporation, it was acquired in 1990 (along with Uniroyal, then The Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company) by the French tire maker Michelin. Prior to the sale, BFGoodrich was the first American tire manufacturer to make radial tires. It made tires for the then new Winton car.

BFGoodrich tires have been fitted to several noteworthy historical vehicles:

  • In 1903 The first car to cross the United States was fitted with BFGoodrich tires.
  • In 1927 Charles Lindbergh's airplane, the "Spirit of St. Louis," which made the first successful non-stop flight across the Atlantic, was fitted with BFGoodrich tires.
  • In 1977 The Columbia space shuttle was fitted with BFGoodrich tires during construction.[citation needed]

BFGoodrich have been involved with several competitions and enjoyed success with 17 victories at the Baja California Competitions and 5 times winner of the Paris–Dakar Rally. It was also the tire supplier for the 2006 and 2007 seasons of the World Rally Championship.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Founded by Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich in 1870, the BFGoodrich Company, later known as BFGoodrich, was among the first rubber tire manufacturers to be located west of the Appalachian Mountain Range. In the previous year, Goodrich had purchased the Hudson River Rubber Company. Based in Akron, Ohio, the BFGoodrich Company began as a manufacturer of rubberized hoses, which were sold mostly as firehoses. The company also produced rubberized belts, similar to those used on modern vehicles as serpentine belts (fan belt). As the company grew, it began to manufacture pneumatic bicycle tires, eventually leading to the production of pneumatic automobile tires in 1896, this made BFGoodrich the first company in the United States to manufacture this type of tire.[1]

BFGoodrich was not the only tire manufacturer in the United States at the turn of the 20th Century. Among its competitors were Goodyear, Firestone, General and Uniroyal. Due to extensive research and scientific methods, such as tire wear evaluation and longevity testing, BFGoodrich was at the leading edge of the industry. Ford Motor Company, then owned by Henry Ford, chose BFGoodrich tires to be fitted in the new Model A Ford in 1903. That same year, the Model A, equipped with the tires, became the first car to cross the United States from east to west. This event made BFGoodrich a household name.[2]

Innovation[edit]

Aside from being the first company in the United States to manufacture pneumatic automobile tires, BFGoodrich is also credited for introducing the rubber-wound golf ball, the first pressurized space suit and the use of synthetic rubber. Although significant, these innovations are not as well-known as the company’s contributions to the tire industry.[3]

In 1947, BFGoodrich developed the first tubeless tire in the United States. The tubeless tire eliminate the need for an inner tube, which improves performance and safety, as well as enhanced confort for the car's occupants.[4]

BFGoodrich produced the first radial tires in the United States in 1965. This innovation made tires even safer as the radial type tire have longer tread life and permit better absorption of road bumps.[5] The company patented an early sort of run-flat tire two years later, in 1967. This technology enables the vehicle to continue to be driven in emergencies by avoiding that the tire becomes flat instantly.[6]

Aeronautics[edit]

In 1909, BFGoodrich tires were fitted on a Curtiss Aeroplane Corporation plane, thus marking BFGoodrich entry in the aviation tire market. In this particular event, the plane, fitted with BFGoodrich tires, set a speed record of 75 kilometers per hour in Reims at the first international air race. BFGoodrich tires were also fitted to Charles Lindbergh’s plane, Spirit of St. Louis, when he completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight.[7]

In 1934, BFGoodrich produced a prototype for a pressure suit to be worn by airplane pilot, Wiley Post, at high altitudes. This first prototype was made mostly of rubber, with the exception being the metal helmet and waist strap. The prototype suit was pressurized in an initial test, but it did not hold pressure as it was expected to. With improvements to the concept, a second prototype was made, using the same helmet, which successfully maintained pressurization. The second suit was successful, at least in holding pressure. The suit had shrunk around Post's body and was removed by cutting the suit apart. One year later, in 1935, another prototype was produced and is said to be the first practical pressure suit in the United States. Piloting his plane, the “Winnie Mae”, Post was able to fly to an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet, where he discovered the jet stream, paving the way for modern flight procedure. From this point forward, the suit created by BFGoodrich served as pattern for mostly modern pressurized space suits.[8]

Racing Heritage[edit]

BFGoodrich is also known for their performance and racing developments and achievements. Its roots in racing can be traced as far back as 1914, when BFGoodrich tires were used by the winning car of the Indianapolis 500. This was just the beginning of victories in several competitions including the Paris-Dakar Rally, World Rally Championships, Baja 1000, and many other prestigious racing competitions.[9]

Off-road[edit]

BFGoodrich developed and markets its flagship All-Terrain T/A and Mud-Terrain T/A tires. Due to its unique tread design and known raised white letters on the tire sidewall, the tire consolidated a loyal customer base, especially among off-roading enthusiasts, its main application is light trucks and SUVs.[citation needed]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "B.F. Goodrich Company". Encyclopedia Britannica. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "THE SAGA OF AN ETERNAL PIONEER". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "B.F. Goodrich Company". Encyclopedia Britannica. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "KEY DATES". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "KEY DATES". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "KEY DATES". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "THE SAGA OF AN ETERNAL PIONEER". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "The Evolution of American Spacesuits". Simple Thing Called Life. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "BFGOODRICH AND COMPETITION". BFGoodrich Tires. BFGoodrich. Retrieved 4 April 2016.