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New Morphing Wing Concept Needs Lightning Protection

A German company is developing a unique wing leading edge system that changes shape using an internal mechanism. This arrangement allows for lower drag and air noise compared with leading edge slats. It is a very interesting concept that may result in a lower weight, simpler leading edge system. One of the remaining hurdles is lightning. Providing lightning protection to the new design may be difficult if the leading edge material is non-conductive. Read the article from Flying magazine here: Morphing Wing...

New Video of Lightning Striking SUV

The following video is from Toronto, Canada where an unlucky driver is struck by lightning. It appears that the lightning struck the radio antenna which would likely fry the radio and everything else in the SUV. An unfortunate day for the SUV but the faraday cage of the car likely saved the drivers life. Video: Lightning Strikes...

Aircraft Struck in Flight

This new video shows the hazards of flying near thunderstorms. As the twin engine jet seems to be on approach to landing, lightning strikes the top of the fuselage and one of the main landing gear. Strikes like these are pretty common; lightning strikes to aircraft occur often during take-offs and landings. These type of strikes have prompted the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to push the FAA air traffic controllers to provide more detailed information on weather fronts to the pilots. Air traffic controllers can have up-to-date knowledge of lightning strikes in the area and can redirect pilots away from likely lightning locations. This effort could significantly reduce the amount of damage to aircraft due to lightning. See the video...

Airbus Electrified!

This video, taken from the cockpit of an Airbus 321, provides a terrific perspective on the electrification of clouds. As the aircraft flies through the rain in the cloud, there are multiple electrical discharges across the outside of the windshields. Airbus windshield are non-conductive (they don’t use an anti-static coating) and as aircraft the flies through the charged cloud the the airplane (the conductive bits) attain the same potential as the cloud. The non-conductive windshields will remain at a fixed potential until the metal frame around the windshield (which is at the aircraft potential) discharges to bring the windshield to the same potential. As the aircraft flies closer to the center of the storm, the electrification will increase and the windshield discharges will become more repetitive. One of the fall-outs of using non-conductive windshields is that the windshield will hold a charge for a very long time. Any mechanic who tries to clean the windshield will wind up with a strong shock and will probably wake up on the tarmac. See the video...

Boston Television Station Struck By Lightning, Stays On Air

This video comes from WBZ-TV, a local Boston, MA television station. During an intense storm over eastern Massachusetts the station was broadcasting weather updates when the tower was struck by lightning. The lights flickered and then went dead. However, the weatherman kept up with his report of the storms. See the video...

Lightning Puts Hole in Beechcraft Radome

Recently a Beech 99 pilot had a harrowing adventure as his aircraft was struck by lightning. The image below is from the Pilots of America blog site where a pilot describes his experience.  The Beech Model 99 does not use lightning diverters on its radome and is very susceptible to lightning damage.  Installing WXGuard lightning diverters would prevent the type of damage seen here. WXGuard is available was a 3M peel and stick tape that allows for a quick and durable installation. WXGuard can be ordered in one of three button sizes (oval, large round, small round) depending on the frequency of the radar system (most aircraft use oval). Contact Greg Shine at 1-800-543-5151 for more information on how WXGuard can protect your radome! Read the full blog info here:...