Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Windscreen Wipers On Aircraft  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3361 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8648 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 (2 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8639 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, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8631 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, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8574 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, 550 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8516 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 offlineCCA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2002, 846 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8493 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 offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5657 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8445 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 (2 years 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8335 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, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8194 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, 4781 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8190 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: 48
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8177 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, 2451 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7990 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?



A landing EVERYONE can walk away from, is a good landing.
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7984 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 (2 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7980 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 (2 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7969 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 (2 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7927 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 11):

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


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17180 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7912 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 (2 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7875 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 (2 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7829 times:

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

170 knots on the E145.


User currently offlineCCA From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2002, 846 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7780 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 (2 years 23 hours ago) and read 7743 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

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ralph Duenas - Jetwash Images



MD11

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Terence Li



User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (2 years 18 hours ago) and read 7669 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, 998 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (2 years 10 hours ago) and read 7560 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, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 hour ago) and read 7445 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 12 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7382 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
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 25, posted (1 year 12 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7503 times:

Quoting barney captain (Reply 22):

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.

What was the mod between the two types.....



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGlobalMoose From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7249 times:

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 aircraft...

Something about how they flail about on the windshield trying to compete against the airflow and rain simultaneously, coupled with their 'attempt' to park themselves and the accompanying KA-THUNK when they eventually decide to stow!

I always chuckle a bit to myself whenever I have (get) to use the wipers  



When it absolutely positively has to be there ... at some point.
User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3582 posts, RR: 4
Reply 27, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7255 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 12):
Rainboe

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 wipers, I have seen several wiper assemblies in stock on the shelf and I remember at least once when mtce called for a new one. We sent the U/S one out for repair if I remember right. I also recall several wiper motors being replaced during my time in stores.

[Edited 2012-12-25 08:44:20]

[Edited 2012-12-25 08:44:58]


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 12 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7173 times:

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 it was for noise, and less drag, we cracked up and told them they should mount the wings Vertical then, The guy didn't get the joke   . I think it was around N806DE that they came with the wipers vertical.

Its funny, I was trying to think the last time I changed a Blade. I think I only changed 1 set on a MD-11, and 1 set on a 727 but I changed quite a few wiper motors. Those suck. L-1011 ones stick in my head as being the worst for some reason. I think they came out from behind the inst panel, and took 2 guy to replace. Of course in the rain, at the gate with 200 people watching you  


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2414 posts, RR: 2
Reply 29, posted (1 year 12 months 23 hours ago) and read 6942 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting yeelep (Reply 12):
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.

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 or rubber windshield wiper blades. IIRC, the XB-70 used a similar system.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 30, posted (1 year 12 months 18 hours ago) and read 6889 times:

Quoting n901wa (Reply 28):
Its funny, I was trying to think the last time I changed a Blade. I think I only changed 1 set on a MD-11, and 1 set on a 727 but I changed quite a few wiper motors.

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 should be 40,000 flt hrs, but there have been reports of removals less than 4,000 flight hrs, mainly caused by overtensioned or undertensioned blades.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 473 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 12 months 15 hours ago) and read 6880 times:

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.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 32, posted (1 year 12 months 7 hours ago) and read 6790 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 29):
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 or rubber windshield wiper blades. IIRC, the XB-70 used a similar system.

The DC-8 also has no windshield wipers. It has a rain dispersion system using bleed air.


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3188 posts, RR: 3
Reply 33, posted (1 year 12 months 4 hours ago) and read 6752 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 12):
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

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 cans and the valve and cans were prone to leaks, whether in use or not.

Rainboe was a Great Performer but a Bad Actor environmentally speaking. The solvents involved caused many problems for pilots when there were leaks in the valve area of the can in the confined space of the cockpit. As far as I know it was discontinued an if there is a suitable replacement then it still may be called Rainboe but I do not know that there is a replacement.

Washer fluids may or may not contain a repellent in its formula but is more along the lines of a washer fluid where the main ingredients are alcohol and water.

Okie


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 34, posted (1 year 12 months ago) and read 6666 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

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 is UV degradation as opposed to wear from use. I would assume that because airliners spend their entire lives outside and much of their lives up at altitude, the rubber would wear fairly quickly due to UV exposure.


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3361 posts, RR: 2
Reply 35, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6518 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 34):
I would assume that because airliners spend their entire lives outside and much of their lives up at altitude, the rubber would wear fairly quickly due to UV exposure.

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 quicker.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineJD747 From Spain, joined Nov 2006, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6460 times:

Quoting barney captain (Reply 22):

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

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. Also, it only have two settings, slow and fast, so you have to switch it on and off continuously. Very annoying.

Regards



Juan D.
User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1414 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6418 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting b78710 (Reply 1):

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.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 38, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6350 times:

Quoting barney captain (Reply 22):
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.

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 Nordair which was acquired by CP Air in the mid-1980s and then became part of Canadian Airlines. Nordair was based in YUL and mainly served the eastern part of the Canadian Arctic region, and charters to Florida, Caribbean etc.
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v...wU4Nje9NjxT4ZwZmRI-Yw&feature=plcp


User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

Quoting okie (Reply 33):
Rainboe was a Great Performer but a Bad Actor environmentally speaking. The solvents involved caused many problems for pilots when there were leaks in the valve area of the can in the confined space of the cockpit. As far as I know it was discontinued an if there is a suitable replacement then it still may be called Rainboe but I do not know that there is a replacement.


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 I read, its probably the same as or similar to the nasty stuff your'e taking about. Have never had a write up involving the can or valve leaking, knock on wood.


User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3188 posts, RR: 3
Reply 40, posted (1 year 11 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6192 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 39):
We still use Rainboe Type 3.

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 providing the propellant. CFC-113 was seriously phased out by the EPA, it was also used for providing the expansion for foam insulation. Think fuel tank insulation issues with the Space Shuttle when 113 was phased out.

Again I do not know, you might check your MSDS.

Okie


User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

MSDS states Freon 113 90% by weight. The cans I looked at had Jan. 2007 dates.

Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Windscreen Wipers On Aircraft
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
No Refrigerators On Aircraft? posted Thu Jul 26 2012 13:46:50 by at
How Does Dirt Form On Aircraft? posted Mon Jun 18 2012 20:13:23 by rjm777ual
Toxic Fumes On Aircraft. How Common? posted Tue Jan 10 2012 08:03:09 by NDiesel
Effect Of Wake Turbulence On Aircraft On Ground posted Mon Mar 7 2011 18:54:24 by Soxfan
Question - Changing Engine Types On Aircraft posted Sat Dec 18 2010 22:31:37 by Plainplane
Background Noise On Aircraft posted Thu Sep 2 2010 13:43:53 by KingFriday013
Why No Psgr. Bay On Aircraft Like Space Shuttle? posted Mon Jul 5 2010 18:04:54 by rightrudder
Looking For Dimensions On Aircraft Tails posted Thu May 13 2010 10:25:12 by bs2222222
Energy Label On Aircraft? posted Tue Nov 17 2009 02:59:10 by Keta
Why 'eyebrows' On Aircraft? posted Thu Apr 16 2009 19:59:33 by Jetplaner

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format