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Windshield Wipers On Planes?  
User currently offlineLastordu From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 367 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10714 times:

I know this a stupid topic. But just moved to RDU and it rains here a lot. So I was wandering do pilots use the windshield wiper just when taxing or do they use them on landing and takeoff. It is hard to see from the spot that I go to at the airport.


"Remember, Remember the 5th of November" from V for Vendetta
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBtriple7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1160 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10705 times:

Pilots do use windshield wipers while taxiing. I am not sure about takeoff, though. The plane is going so fast, the rain streams off anyway

Here's some pictures: (Couldn't find any in the rain)


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Photo © Alexandru Magurean



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Photo © Victor Garciamontes



Regards,
Btriple7

[Edited 2005-09-07 22:12:33]


Just...fly.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10696 times:

In simple terms... Yes..


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10643 times:

Some use bleed air to keep the rain off:

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Photo © Renato Burkhart


Some use wipers:

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Photo © Alexandru Magurean


Some just use their blistering speed:

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Photo © Andrew Leach



And then there are helicopters.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineSchooner From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10632 times:

Depends on how heavy the rain is but generally (not simply!) yes, we use them during all stages of the flight (when we are actually looking out of the window!).

Cheers.



Untouched and Alive
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10601 times:

Quoting Lastordu (Thread starter):
So I was wandering do pilots use the windshield wiper just when taxing or do they use them on landing and takeoff.

Didn't see this part.

Most wiper controls will have a speed control that should work like the interval wiper setting in your car. Thing is, though, that for some reason airplane wipers are really loud and kind of annoying. Older Boeing wipers are really annoying.

Also, your speed affects the apparent intensity of the rain. Going faster, even light rain will seem heavy because you gather so many more drops per second than you would standing still. So at slow speeds, like taxiing, the PNT (pilot not taxiing) will often turn them on and off from time to time.

Short answer - as needed.

The first real six-axis flight simulator I ever flew surprised me in this area. When "rain" was part of the airport weather conditions selected for its computer it blurred the picture outside unless you turned on the wipers. Then it synthesized the noise quite accurately. Made me laugh!



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10551 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 5):
So at slow speeds, like taxiing, the PNT (pilot not taxiing) will often turn them on and off from time to time.

I saw this on a Commutair B1900 @ FWA on a rainy Sunday Aug 14th... I found it kind of funny that my 1999 ZX2 had delay/pulse/intermittent (whatever you want to call them) wipers and a multi-million dollar aircraft the pilot had to flip the switch himself.


User currently offlineAmtrosie From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 10503 times:

Slam Click, hats off again! There is no better wiper than your "blistering speed" example. Oh, how right you are about the noisy wipers on the Boeing "Jurassics".

As always Slam says it best!


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 10471 times:

Mainly used while Taxying. T/O & Landings too depending on the Weather & the PIC.

Quoting Amtrosie (Reply 7):
how right you are about the noisy wipers on the Boeing "Jurassics".

Can never forget those  Smile
The Hydrophobic Coatings were a big help.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 583 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 10403 times:

Lastordu

On one aircraft type the windscreen wipers were never used during the taxy-out or for take-off.


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Photo © A J Best
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Photo © Paul Dopson - AirTeamImages



They were only used for landing and the taxy-in!

Anyone care to guess why?

Regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 10392 times:

Had to be reset by MX somehow between being used and flying supersonic?

You did say we were allowed to guess!  Smile

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 10389 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 9):

Should have been used for Taxi-out too.  Smile
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 10381 times:

The windshield they wipe is covered by the outer one in flight?


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2541 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 10374 times:

The inner windshield would have been exposed during taxi out and takeoff with the nose drooped to the first notch.

My wild guess is that Concorde's windshield heat was so powerful that it evaporated rain drops on contact Big grin



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 10362 times:

The Boeing 2707 had the Starwars laser system to vaporize the raindrops before the plane collides with them.

(kidding!)



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineEuclid From South Africa, joined Apr 2005, 372 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 10311 times:

I think I'm going to win the prize for the dumbest guess ever on Airliners, but what the heck, nobody will be able to see my red face anyway, so here goes!

The Concorde did not use the wipers on taxy-out or on take-off because they did not take off in the rain?

Stupid, I know, but it's all I could think of. I don't know a lot about Concorde.

Regards

Euclid


User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 583 posts, RR: 59
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10183 times:

FredT came the closest!

When the windscreen wipers were turned off after use, if they did not stow themselves in exactly the correct parked position, then they became an obstruction in the path of the visor as it was raised. In this situation, a microswitch would prevent any movement of the visor.

A close look at the second picture will show how tight the clearance was.
  • If the wipers didn't park correctly, the visor could not be raised.

  • If the visor could not be raised, then the nose could not be raised.

  • If the nose could not be raised, then supersonic flight was not allowed.

  • If supersonic flight was not allowed, then there was insufficient fuel onboard for a subsonic Atlantic crossing, so fuel jettison and re-land!
All in all, it was preferable and easier to put up with some rain on the windscreens, rather than risk a stuck visor and an unscheduled return.

Of course, taking-off in July from HAWK21M's home base would have been a different matter! Big grin

Best Regards to all

Bellerophon


User currently offlineEuclid From South Africa, joined Apr 2005, 372 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10161 times:

Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 16):
When the windscreen wipers were turned off after use, if they did not stow themselves in exactly the correct parked position, then they became an obstruction in the path of the visor as it was raised.

Thanks for the answer, sir! After my stupid guess I've been wondering about it the whole night.

Cheers!

Euclid


User currently offlineUndehoulli From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10128 times:

One of our instructors here used to be a Saab 340 Captain before he went to Northwest - got furloughed, and is now back at UND. Anyhow, he told us about a time in the Saab (not his Saab) when the windshield wiper was turned on above its design speed....It departed the window, hit the left engine and caused it to fail, and when the wiper blade penetrated the fuselage and went into a passenger's leg. Three problems now...decompression, passenger with windshield wiper in leg, and engine failure. Where do you find this one in the QRH!!???

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10122 times:

Quoting Undehoulli (Reply 18):
Three problems now...decompression, passenger with windshield wiper in leg, and engine failure. Where do you find this one in the QRH!!???

"Decompression / Engine Failure / Skewered Passenger checklist please!"

Doesn't your plane have one of these?



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10045 times:

Quoting Undehoulli (Reply 18):
One of our instructors here used to be a Saab 340 Captain before he went to Northwest - got furloughed, and is now back at UND. Anyhow, he told us about a time in the Saab (not his Saab) when the windshield wiper was turned on above its design speed....It Departed the window, hit the left engine and caused it to fail, and when the wiper blade penetrated the fuselage and went into a passenger's leg. Three problems now...decompression, Passenger with windshield wiper in leg, and engine failure.

Actually that is not 'fully' what happened. The aircraft, flying at night flew through a flock of Snow Geese. One of the Geese hit the nose area of the plane and took out the Capt's side windshield wiper. The airflow pushed the wiper into the LH Prop, which in turn slung it into the fuselage. It punctured the fuselage and struck the passenger in the leg seated in the second seat. He was injured in the leg and required a medical attention. The engine did not fail due to the wiper, but the prop was damaged. The engine was damaged by a second Snow Goose it ingested..!! The aircraft also required extensive repairs to several leading edges due to bird strikes. I remember when I walked on the not long after it happened it stunk and was a real mess. The hole was small enough that the plane did not depressurize. Some where in my files I have all the pictures..!1 What a mess.

[Edited 2005-09-09 22:48:07]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineSLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 578 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10005 times:

OK, I'll play.

So what about the Gulfstream 550? I don't think it has wipers.


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Photo © Sébastien Le Feyer



If it can do without, why does the 787 have them? I would have guessed the weight/cost/drag/expense would have been shed.

Any comments?

SLCPilot

[Edited 2005-09-10 02:31:19]

[Edited 2005-09-10 02:35:41]


I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9923 times:

Quoting Undehoulli (Reply 18):



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 20):
Some where in my files I have all the pictures

If you locate them.Post them.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1636 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9809 times:
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The Lockheed JetStar has windshield wipers on both the left and right windshields, the center windshield does not have a wiper.


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Photo © Jordi Grife - Iberian Spotters




There is a speed restriction of 205 knots indicated so the wipers can be used on takeoff, approach and landing. The wiper system has 2 speeds, high speed which operates the wipers at 275 strokes per minute and the low speed at about half the strokes. The system consists of 2 motors above the pilot’s heads, one for each wiper. A flexible shaft from the motor is connected to a converter that converts the rotary action of the motor to the back and forth oscillating action of the wipers. Each wiper system is separate from the other but jointly controlled by one switch.

The wiper system is controlled by a switch on the overhead panel above the pilot’s head. The switch has 4 positions, park, off, high and low. When the wipers are stopped, they will stop wherever the power is cut off. To place the wipers in the park position, the switch is turned to park and the wipers will go to the most inboard position on the windshieldas shown in this photo.

The windshield wiper system is very noisy and distracting, especially during approach when total concentration is required so we never used them in flight. Once on the ground we would use the low speed if the rain was heavy and affecting our vision.

One time during cruise at altitude, the pilot’s wiper came slightly off the part position. The chief pilot was flying the airplane at the time so he reached up and turned the wiper switch to park to repark the wiper. Our airspeed was above the windshield operating speed so when the motor tried to park the wiper, the gear in the converter stripped and allowed the wiper arm to extend to the opposite side of the windshield. The air noise from the wiper was loud enough that we could not talk to each other unless we shouted. When we landed, I took the pilot's wiper arm off the external shaft, which was held on by one nut and we continued the trip without the pilot’s windshield wiper arm. We were lucky that the wiper assembly or blade was not torn off of the airplane, because Lockheed had a bulletin about inspecting the wiper system for integrity because if they were torn off for any reason the blades could be ingested into one of the engines that would result in an engine failure.

The chief pilot, who was a first class idiot anyway learned a lesson which cost the company a lot of money for a new windshield wiper converter, keep your hands off the wiper switch during flight. As chief of maintenance I had to appoave all maintenance and parts bills before I handed them to the chief pilot, he never said anything when I presented him with the bill from Lockheed for the part, he just signed it ok for payment. But if it was one of the other pilots in the flight department he would have read us the riot act and threatened to take it out of our pay


User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 45
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9695 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Schooner (Reply 4):
yes, we use them during all stages of the flight (when we are actually looking out of the window!).



Quoting Jetstar (Reply 23):
keep your hands off the wiper switch during flight

So can they be used inflght or not.
Cheers



On a wing and a prayer
25 Post contains images HAWK21M : The B737 Classics had common Knobs & the confusion to move the Engine Start sw & Wiper switch was always present to those who were hasty. regds MEL
26 Post contains images FrancoBlanco : Well, I still confuse the indicator with the wiper on my car sometimes... Although confusing Engine Start and wiper could be worse! Sebastian
27 Post contains images HAWK21M : Depending on which knob you turn regds MEL
28 Dan2002 : I believe it has some type of heating element that dries the rain or repels it or something. I know thats not the right termonology, but I think the
29 Post contains links HAWK21M : Gulfstream 550 regds MEL
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