Thursday, May 28, 2020

What Happens When Celestial Lightning Hits Airplane? How We Are Protected Now?

Yes, even the celestial lightning hits the airplane and has caused damage. It is a different matter that the damage has not been done in the recent past, nor is there any possibility of it happening, although the possibilities are not negligible. It has been started since 1930 that the aircraft crash can also be caused by lightning, under which attention was given to it.

Pan Am Flight 214

The best example of such an incident can be given by Pan Am Flight 214. A scary scene!

On December 8, 1963, Pan Am Flight 214 of American World Airways had 81 passengers, including 8 crew members and 73 passengers on board. Everything was going fine, but the weather was bad on the way, and it was late until the pilot was informed. The plane succumbed to celestial lightning as the plane crashed through it. Unfortunately, 81 of 81 lives were lost, no one could escape.

Civil aeronautics board called a meeting, investigation

An investigation by the Civil Aeronautics Board concluded that the cause of the crash was celestial lightning that ignited fuel vapor in one of the aircraft's fuel tanks, causing an explosion that destroyed one of the aircraft wings. The way lightning caught fire was never determined. However, various methods of investigation revealed that lightning could damage the aircraft in flight, due to which new safety regulations were followed.

Can this happen in today's plane too?

No! the main area of ​​concern is the fuel system, where even a small spark can be disastrous. Engineers thus take extreme care to ensure that electric currents do not cause sparks in any part of an aircraft's fuel system. The layer of the aircraft around the fuel tanks is thickened to avoid burning. All structural joints and fasteners are designed tightly to prevent sparks, as electric current passes from one part to another. The entrance gate, fuel filler cap, and any vents are designed and tested to withstand electricity. All pipes and fuel lines carry fuel to the engines and the engines protect themselves from electricity. In addition, new fuels that produce less explosive vapor are now widely used.

What Happens As We Move Upwards?

Temperature does not remain fixed at altitude firstly temperature drops to a certain altitude, then the temperature rises again, then decreases again, but the temperature gradient is negative in the area where the aircraft takes flight, so the temperature drops., so the temperature drops down. The graph between the standard height and temperature of the atmosphere is given below.

Therefore, the water present in the cloud begins to freeze and transform into ice. Friction occurs in ice particles when the cloud is moving, resulting in the formation of a negative ion.

How We Are Protected Now?

As everyone knows metals carry a positive charge. Positive charges and negative charges attract each other. The top cover of the plane is made of aluminum alloy, this alloy is called Duralumin.

The surface is positive, a negative charge is attracted towards the positive charge of aluminum, which in common language is called the fall of electricity.

Lightning first passes through the pointed area (Winglets or nose) and comes out from the tail. The passenger sitting inside does not even know, although the pilot and crew member know.

Passengers are safe inside. This is not magic, but it is an experiment done by Faraday. There is no electric current inside a closed-cell when there is an electric current on it.