How do airplanes stay safe from lightning?
The airplane was reportedly safe.
Airplanes get hit by lightning fairly regularly. Modern airliners are built to safely fly through lightning, and most passengers likely don't even notice when it occurs.
When lightning hits an airplane, it usually enters and exits through some extremity, including wingtips, the nose and vertical fin. Most planes are made from aluminum, which is extremely conductive. Airplanes with less-conductive composite material bodies, such as Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, have conductive material incorporated into the fuselage, explains Jack Williams for Air & Space Magazine.
Aircraft are designed to handle lightning strikes with measures including shielding and surge protectors.
A Scientific American article from 2006 further explains what happens when lightning hits an airplane.
Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dcatchpole.
Most recent Aerospace blog posts
- Smashed bugs are a drag on jets' fuel efficiency April 27
- Boeing to lay off 153 workers in Puget Sound region April 23
- Boeing’s 737 plant is getting even more productive April 21
- Boeing 787 painted as R2-D2 takes to the skies for All Nippon April 17
- Is 2015 a make or break year for jumbo jets? April 16
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.