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User currently offlineMark T From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1752 times:

Hello -

What kind of technology/equipment to jets have to deter lightning strikes during flight ?

Are there any sort of "lightning rods" on the surface of the wings/fuselage?

Thanks !


9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMurcla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

The lightning, when striking an aircraft, travels as it would on a car or any other conductive material. The electricity travels on the outer surface of the aircraft. Therefore there is no need to protect the objects within the aircraft.

That is if everything works like it is supposed to do, but you never know with lightning, some electrical surge might be present. But I´m not aware of any protective systems. I could imagine there being some kind of protection against electrical surges, protecting the electronics.
(please, correct me if wrong)

The only lightning"rods" I´m aware of are the one´s built in to propeller blades. On the Dowty blades it is actually more of a woven metal strip that runs along the whole blade.

User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1675 times:

It usually exits the a/c at the tail or the horizontal stab or through wing trailing edges , static discharge wicks maybe, anyway it only makes a hole were it exits the a/c and then you have to do hardness tests around the area sometimes stretching across alot of structure,the manuals for the a/c are very detailed for this inspection,

User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1666 times:

It should be noted static electricity on the a/c is drained through the U/c on landing and hardness tests are also done for fires on the a/c also, Im saving a smartarse some hassle!!!

User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6470 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1645 times:

The most vulnerable part of an aircraft to lightning is, of course, the radar. Radomes have metal strips built into them to discharge the voltage to the metal airframe where it usually does no damage. The repair of lightning strikes to aircraft is a cherished job to any sheetmetal man. Drill the hole out with an "E" bit and put a 1/4 rivet in. Simple and easy. Keeps two people busy for about an hour without sweating. Six or seven tiny holes to fill, no NDT to perform. The worst part of a lightning strike on an airplane is that the aircraft is in a place it really shouldn't be.

I am glad I was around to fly before de-regulation.
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1621 times:

The best defense that we have against lightnning strikes is avoidance. As far as corporate jets go, our "electronic" avoidence tools consist of weather radar and spherics detectors (Stormscopes, et al) I've been flying aircraft that have been equipted with both tools for 15 years and I would be hard pressed to have to choose which one is most effective. In practice you use the stormscope to determine which area to avoid and the radar to avoid it. The spherics detectors are great tools, I don't understand why they haven't been accepted by the airlines.

User currently offlineNotar520AC From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1606 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

I was up Saturday from SDL and ran into some bad lightning in the C172- we had to make a "semi" emergency landing so we wouldn't get hit.

BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 41
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1581 times:

You can also see static wicks on the trailing edge of some older jets. There were three near the wingtip of the last Fokker 100 I rode with USAirways.


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1574 times:

A picture is worth a thousand words...  Big grin


User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1567 times:

Something else that hasn't been mentioned so far is the havoc that the massive electrical current plays with the internal engine components such as engine bearings, etc. when lightning passes through them. It can do really nasty things to engines.

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