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Windscreen Wipers On Aircraft  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3357 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8613 times:

Given the extreme temps that they can go through I was wondering how often they get changed, do they last out a year?
Are they made of the same compound are car wipers?
Cheers!


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineb78710 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 344 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8604 times:

Very rarely changed. In the 10 years I've now been working aircraft (mixture of ramp and hangar work) The only windscreen wipers I have removed have been to facilitate windscreen removals.

Maybe I've just been lucky


User currently offlinem1m2 From Canada, joined Dec 2011, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8596 times:

Same here, and I work on aircraft that fly several cycles a day. I don't think they get used that much, probably just occasionally during taxi and sometimes when landing. Not sure about the take off roll, maybe some of our pilot friends here can help us with that.

User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8539 times:

Up until a couple of years ago we rarely changed them. Now they are changed every year as part of a winter prep task card. I also will replace one when changing a window due to scratches on the outer pane.

User currently offlineA320ajm From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8481 times:

Not to hijack this post but....
When I was young, 14 or 15 perhaps, I asked my flying instructor (who now works for a UK low-cost airline) if commercial aircraft had wipers. He looked at me and laughed like it was a stupid question, and said he didn't think so. This post just reminded me of this time   And probably now is the first time I've ever thought about them having windscreen wipers!

A320ajm



If the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
User currently onlineCCA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2002, 846 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8458 times:

When ever its raining and you can't see the taxiways or runway well enough they get used, it depends on the severity of the rain and the speed of the aircraft, as you can imagine light rain at high speed is similar to heavier rain at slow speed.

The windscreens are also treated with a hydrophobic coating which repels water, I've asked for reapplication of the coating more times that I've written wipers up in the tech log. Most times the wiper just fails but its rare, 747 wipers seem to be very good.



C152 G115 TB10 CAP10 SR-22 Be76 PA-34 NDN-1T C500 A330-300 A340-300 -600 B747-200F -200SF -400 -400F -400BCF -400ERF -8F
User currently onlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5644 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8410 times:

Quoting b78710 (Reply 1):
Maybe I've just been lucky

Yeah, you've been lucky.

With my operator, wipers are changed on condition. I'm sure we have an inspection program for them. But, I'm sure it's a heavy maintenance task card.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineb78710 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 344 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8300 times:

We don't have an inspection for them as far as I'm aware.

If the crew snag it, it would get changed. I've never seen one snagged


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31702 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8159 times:

Quoting b78710 (Reply 7):

If the crew snag it, it would get changed. I've never seen one snagged

Normally its the Inadequately wiping snag which is Normally rectified by Varying the Wiper blade tension.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4778 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

I wish the wipers on my Toyota were as good !


Funny fact, never seen an airspeed limitation on wipers.


Not that you need them at 350 knots..



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 49
Reply 10, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8142 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 9):
Funny fact, never seen an airspeed limitation on wipers.

Never say never...A-320 series max wiper speed: 230 Knots.

Of course we know all about your unnatural affection for Boeing products, so that explains that!  


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2433 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7955 times:

I imagine they are like car wipers, on steroids.

This is probably the dumbest question I will ask on this site, do airplanes have windshield wiper fluid, like cars?



Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7949 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):

On the 737's the answer is no and kinda. up to the NG's they have a fluid system like a cars. But instead of a washer type fluid, a product called Rainboe (think industrial strength Rainex) is sprayed. The NG's have none.


User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7945 times:

Very interesting replies from mechanics.

I drive 737s, short haul of course, and I would guess I snag one maybe three times a year, always because the contact edge (the approx 2mm wide strip) is ripping off the main blade body.

No rain repellant is used at all, engineering dept confirm this is company-wide, and thinks its also nationwide, because of the carcinogenic nature of the stuff. 146s had a "Rainboe" repellant spray system, but it was deactivated before I got to them.

No hard stats available but the technician I spoke to estimates they change one blade a month on a fleet of about 30.

No wiper speed limit on 737s but they are difficult to park (against the airflow) above about 180 knots. They aren't needed as soon as you leave the ground, so are routinely parked immediately. On a rainy approach, airspeed is low enough such that the airflow does not overpower them.

I saw cockpit pics in an article on 727s with a South American operator, which showed the blades parked in the vertical position rather than horizontal. Why would they decide to do this? Could anyone offer an opinion on why this isn't standard on all types (it is on some commuters). On 727/737 the first places ice builds up on the front screen is top of the centre pillar and the lower outer corners, so the outer end of the parked blade would be susceptible in either of the two park positions. Having said that though, in years of 737 ops I've never seen ice restricting the blade when I needed to operate
it.

Regards - musang


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7934 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):
This is probably the dumbest question I will ask on this site, do airplanes have windshield wiper fluid, like cars?

It will show up on airplanes that don't have openable flight deck windows (e.g. 747, 787) because otherwise you can't clean with windows without a lift. On the rest...open window, clean from inside.

Tom.


User currently offlineb78710 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 344 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7892 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):

Our jumbos have windscreen wash, in a little bottle in a stowage behind the captains seat


User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17170 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7877 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):
This is probably the dumbest question I will ask on this site, do airplanes have windshield wiper fluid, like cars?

Not quite the same but there are aircraft with alcohol sprayers. The DC-3 has it if memory serves. However this is more to combat ice than to clean.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBellerophon From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 585 posts, RR: 59
Reply 17, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7840 times:

m1m2


...Not sure about the take off roll, maybe some of our pilot friends here can help us with that...

Just as a piece of trivia, in general, most on the Concorde fleet were reluctant to use windshield wipers on the take-off roll.

The reason?

When raising the visor, there was only a small amount of clearance between a correctly parked wiper blade and a moving visor at the best of times. If, when you turned the wipers off they did not park themselves perfectly, they could foul the visor as it came up and prevent it from being raised fully.

If the visor couldn't be raised fully, you couldn't go supersonic, so jettison fuel and return to base!

On balance, most never used them on take-off, other than during the heaviest rainfall.

Best Regards

Bellerophon


User currently offlineflight152 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3413 posts, RR: 6
Reply 18, posted (1 year 12 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7794 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 9):
Funny fact, never seen an airspeed limitation on wipers.

170 knots on the E145.


User currently onlineCCA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2002, 846 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (1 year 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 7745 times:

The 787 has vertical wipers I'd say it was to reduce drag every bit counts these days.


C152 G115 TB10 CAP10 SR-22 Be76 PA-34 NDN-1T C500 A330-300 A340-300 -600 B747-200F -200SF -400 -400F -400BCF -400ERF -8F
User currently offlinedlednicer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 547 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (1 year 12 months 20 hours ago) and read 7708 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting musang (Reply 13):
I saw cockpit pics in an article on 727s with a South American operator, which showed the blades parked in the vertical position rather than horizontal.

DC-10s have blades that park in the horizontal position, while on the MD11, the blades park in the vertical position. On DC-10s rebuilt as MD10s, the blades also park in the vertical position. Its a minor drag reduction item.

DC-10, MD10

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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
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Photo © Ralph Duenas - Jetwash Images



MD11

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Photo © Terence Li



User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (1 year 12 months 16 hours ago) and read 7634 times:

Quoting b78710 (Reply 15):
Our jumbos have windscreen wash, in a little bottle in a stowage behind the captains seat

And 146s / Avro RJs. Pushbutton on the overhead, we could usually hear the pump, which sounded like a car washer pump, and it took a good few seconds for the fluid to climb the 4 feet of tubing to the nozzle, i.e. the one way valve didn't work!

Regards - musang


User currently offlinebarney captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 994 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (1 year 12 months 8 hours ago) and read 7525 times:

The classic 737 wipers are so loud, I often joked that when they were needed, you could either see or hear - not both.   Thankfully the NG 's are vastly improved and work beautifully.


...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlinem1m2 From Canada, joined Dec 2011, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7410 times:

Bellerophon

Thanks. That is interesting. Wouldn't have thought about that on Concorde. I'd imagine on take-off airflow would blow most of the rain off the windscreens.


User currently offlineamccann From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 175 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7347 times:

Quoting dlednicer (Reply 20):
DC-10s have blades that park in the horizontal position, while on the MD11, the blades park in the vertical position. On DC-10s rebuilt as MD10s, the blades also park in the vertical position. Its a minor drag reduction item.

I think early MD11s were delivered with blades that parked horizontally. I know the switch to vertically parked blades was a two fold effort to reduce cockpit noise and reduce drag as part of the performance improvement program for the MD11.

MD-11 Wiper Question (by Fghtngsiouxatc Apr 4 2009 in Tech Ops)



What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. - Ronald Reagan
25 HAWK21M : What was the mod between the two types.....
26 Post contains images GlobalMoose : I don't know about the other jet drivers here on the thread, but I've always found windshield wipers to be the funnest part of equipment on the aircra
27 Post contains images JAGflyer : A few years ago I worked as a stores person and I started LOL when I saw a tube of this on the shelf. Oh the jokes I thought of! Haha Regarding the w
28 Post contains images n901wa : amccann is right. When we first got the early MD-11s, the wipers parked horizontal. They had a Mod later to have them park Vertical. The MDC guys said
29 rwessel : On the SR-71, they used just a spray of rain-repellant fluid, without wipers. I'm guessing the flight environment was not conducive to the survival o
30 HAWK21M : Thats odd.....The replacement rate of the wipers should be higher than the motor....maybe you were lucky. On the B757s, the MTBUR for the motors shou
31 Post contains images n901wa : I think I did get lucky. I did work the Line, and Hangar at a out station, that had good weather most of the yaer, so that would help.
32 Viscount724 : The DC-8 also has no windshield wipers. It has a rain dispersion system using bleed air.
33 okie : There seems to be some confusion here. First of all, "Rainboe" was not a washer fluid, it was a rain repellent as you indicated. It came in aerosol c
34 2H4 : I'm surprised wiper blades seem to be replaced so infrequently. The main reason I typically have had to replace the wipers on my cars over the years i
35 readytotaxi : Yep that was what I was thinking when I made the post, and at high freezing altitudes I would have thought that would have made the rubber perish qui
36 JD747 : The A320 wipers are also very loud. I try not to use them, as much as I can, most of the times only during taxi, and some times on very sort final. A
37 strfyr51 : You are truly lucky, We change them about once a year per airplane at United. We change the arms when the springs break or they've lost tension.
38 Post contains links Viscount724 : Very brief segment of 737-200 wipers in operation between the 6:03 and 6:15 marks in this video of memorabilia on former Canadian regional carrier No
39 yeelep : We still use Rainboe Type 3. The MSDS was issued in 1992 with the last update in 2001, so its been around in its current state for a while. From what
40 okie : Type 3 might be a clue. I suspect the issue was with CFC-113 (Freon 113) CAS (76-13-1) which was the solvent for the repellent mixture along with pro
41 yeelep : MSDS states Freon 113 90% by weight. The cans I looked at had Jan. 2007 dates.
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