Michelin will be providing tyres for the world's largest airliner yet, the Airbus A380, unveiled at a glittering ceremony in Toulouse, France on Wednesday.

Michelin will be providing tyres for the world's largest airliner yet, the Airbus A380, unveiled at a glittering ceremony in Toulouse, France on Wednesday.

Building on its Concorde experience, Michelin developed a light tyre capable of carrying 33 tons at speeds of up to 378 km/h. Weighing 118 kg each, the tyres are about 18 kg lighter than conventional radial tyres and, with a total of 22 tyres in use, this means a 360 kg reduction in the aircraft's total weight.

Made at the company's Bourges plant in France, the new tyres are the culmination of a nine-year partnership between Airbus and Michelin. From 1995 to 2002 the company conducted a pre-study phase calculating the best dimensions for the aircraft. After submitting its proposal in 2002, Michelin was chosen as the official tyre supplier and will be certified for the A380's first delivery in 2006.

Original article from Car