Re: getting hit by lightning

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         10 Jul 96 12:47:14 
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>> I presume (for the purposes of lighting strike) that one can treat the body
>> of the plane as a Faraday cage.

>I have heard that the increasing use of composites in airframe
>construction has significantly reduced the "Faraday cage" properties
>of modern airliners.

To my knowledge, the pressure hull of the fuselage is still aluminum
on all current airliners, so this shouldn't be a big problem yet in
that area.  There are composite floor beams on the 777, I think, but
they would not affect the Faraday Cage.  The weather radar is not
protected, of course, but that's always been the case.

However, with composite stabilizers and fuel tanks in the stabilizers
on some types, this might make a crash like the Baltimore one more
likely.  I don't know if any types with composite stabilizers have
fuel tanks in them, though it's bound to happen eventually if it
hasn't yet.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills