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Another Boeing 757 Nose Radome Lightning Puncture

The Boeing 757 nose radome has experienced several lightning punctures since entering into commercial service in 1983. A picture of the typical damage is shown below. This radome was designed and certified to earlier FAA lightning requirements that utilized ground-based lightning strike data to create an inflight lightning environment. This led to the metal bar lightning diverters on the side of the radome being too short to protect the radome from some inflight lightning events. Several radome manufacturers, such as NORDAM and Saint-Gobain, offer STC’d radomes that utilize a combination of metal bar diverters and segmented lightning diverters that offers better lightning protection. The questions remains if the current operators of the 757 will update to the better protect radomes. Click Here to view the...

NASA Studying Dark Lightning

NASA researchers are using the Fermi spacecraft to monitor particles emitted from thunderstorms. A recent discovery was lightning like discharges, made into the upper atmosphere, create gamma rays and antimatter. Called “Dark Lightning” these high energy events may provide insight to the formation of lightning strikes to earth. NASA has put together a terrific video documenting their...

Boeing 767-300 Metal Lightning Diverter Damaged by Strike

This ANA airplane operating in Japan had its radome severely damaged by a lightning strike. From the photos it appears the lightning found a weak spot in the metal bar lightning diverter and then quickly separated the diverter from the radome. This can be a dangerous situation as the metal bar will travel backwards into the wing, fuselage, or tail. This isn’t the first time a metal bar radome has suffered a damaging strike. An Airbus radome lost its metal bar diverter during a strike last year. Metal bar radomes have many deficiencies. First, they can’t extend far enough forward on the radome to intercept a lightning strike because the metal interferes with the operation of the weather radar. Second, the bars are made sufficiently thin that lightning can pry them off the radome. Last, but not least, the metal bars require multiple screws to be inserted through the radome which allows damaging water to enter the radome. A better choice is WXGuard segmented lightning diverters. They are RF transparent and are applied with standard adhesive or 3M tape. Give Greg Shine at Shine Wire a call at 1-800-543-5151 to learn more about WXGuard and how it can save your...

CRJ Nose Radome Destroyed by Lightning

A terrific new photo of the destructive nature of lightning appeared on the www.airlinepilotforums.com blog. The photo, seen below, shows a CRJ nose radome shattered from a lightning strike. Click on the photo for a larger image. The CRJ radome uses standard segmented diverters. This radome likely had standard segmented diverters with the segments connected together with a resistance material. Researcher Frank Drumm described the difficulty that these type diverters have in protecting radomes in a couple lightning conference papers in 1995. WXGuard lightning diverters do not use a resistive material and provide the best lightning protection available today. Contact Greg Shine at 1-800-543-5151 and learn how WXGuard can protect your...

In-Flight Lightning Strike Damage Assessment System

A European consortium including Airbus, Eurocopter, and Cobham participated in a multi-year project to design equipment and instrument aircraft with a lightning detection system. The goal of the system was to measure lightning transients in-flight, and to help maintenance crews locate potential lightning damage on the aircraft after a strike. The measured data from the system would be invaluable to scientists and engineers who seek to further the lightning protection design of aircraft. The full report is available at the link below: ILDAS Paper...

Discovery Channel Strikes Cessna 310

New video from the Discovery Channel that investigates the loss of aircraft and ships in the Bermuda Triangle. As part of the show, lightning tests were conducted at Lightning Technologies on a Cessna 310. Ed Rupke of LTI in Pittsfield, MA administers a series of high voltage tests using a 2.4 MV Marx generator onto the aircraft to show that lightning can strike the wing tanks. See the video...

Lightning blows runway lights out of ground

A strike to a New Zealand airport left the runway lighting system in tatters. The strike must have attached to the power system feeding the lights and traveled down the wiring. From the news article description, 34 of the lights were ejected from the soil and some of them ended up meters away. Read the full news article here:...

Man struck by lightning while flying kite

Unfortunate news from Vilano Beach, Fl. A man flying a kite along the coastline and was struck by lightning. A nearby Samaritan performed CPR on the man until help arrived and the kite flyer is in stable condition at the local hospital. Ben Franklin was lucky to live through his kite flying experiment in 1752 and this modern day Franklin is also fortunate to be alive. Read the news article here:...