The critical speed of aircraft tires was approximated with the use of the finite element method. The model used shell elements with a fourier expansion in the circumferential direction and included moderate rotation and transverse shear deformation effects. The model linearized the equations of motion about an equilibrium point with the assumption of small dynamic displacements superimposed onto a large nonlinear equilibrium state. Application models were created for main landing gear (MLG) bias tires for the F-16, Space Shuttle Orbiter and Hypervelocity Vehicle (HVV) aircraft. The model performed well in all cases with adequate agreement with experimental results.