What happens if a plane gets struck by lightning?

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asked Jun 21, 2022 in Aircraft by guymekse (640 points)
What happens if a plane gets struck by lightning?

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answered Jun 24, 2022 by Salmorejo (42,560 points)
When a plane gets struck by lightning the lightning that hits the plane will exit the plane through another extremity of the plane, such as the tip of the tail.

Then the lightning strike will continue to the opposite polarity in the cloud structure.

And then if it cannot find an opposite polarity, it will instead hit a point on the ground.

The electrical systems on the airplane are built to withstand a lightning strike, but one of higher intensity can damage systems that rely on electricity like fuel valves, generators, power feeders and electrical distribution systems.

When a plane flies too high the plane will begin to descend because of what's known as the Coffin Corner which is the point that the aircraft's low speed stall and high-speed buffet meet and the plane can no longer maintain its altitude which forces it to descend.

Planes go so far north because in reality it's actually the shortest path to take.

While map projections distort these routes confusing passengers, the great circle path is the shortest path between two far locations.

This is why pilots fly polar routes saving time and distance.

The polar stream is the stronger of the two, and it causes much faster winds compared to the subtropical.

Most airlines on transatlantic and transpacific routes make use of the polar stream while planning flight paths.

Jet streams can be as strong as 80 to 140 miles per hour, sometimes going all the way up to 275.

Although planes can fly over Mount Everest the pilots actually avoid flying over Mount Everest because flying a plane or aircraft over Mount Everest could be dangerous due to the unforgiving weather.

So commercial planes and other planes do not fly over Mount Everest because of the unforgiving weather.

Planes don't fly over the Pacific Ocean as storms are more likely to occur over the Pacific Ocean.

Because the weather over the Pacific Ocean is often turbulent, and there are many thunderstorms in parts of the Pacific, it's not a safe environment to fly a plane.

Planes do sometimes fly at full speed but not always.

A typical commercial passenger jet flies at a speed of about 400 – 500 knots which is around 460 – 575 mph when cruising at about 36,000ft.

This is about Mach 0.75 – 0.85 or in other words, about 75-85% of the speed of sound.

Generally speaking, the higher the aircraft flies, the faster it can travel.

Fighter Jets do sometimes break the sound barrier although at airshows they typically don't break the sound barrier.

It was determined that an F-15 fighter jet in the airspace above central Illinois course corrected creating a sonic boom.

When the aircraft broke the sound barrier, the pressure wave created an audible noise and minor shaking in the region," the state agency said in a statement.

You can see a plane break a sound barrier.

When an object moves through the air, it makes pressure waves in front of and behind it.

A sonic boom is visible. It is actually air that becomes squashed by sound waves.

It appears as a cone of vapor around the aircraft.

The breaking of the sound barrier is not just an audible phenomenon.

In fact, Mach 1 can be beautiful.

The visual counterpart to a sonic boom, which sometimes but not always accompanies the breaking of the sound barrier, has also been seen with Apollo 11 moon-landing mission rocketed skyward in 1969.

Commercial planes don't break the sound barrier although some commercial planes can sometimes and have broken the sound barrier.

Although Concorde and the Tu-144 were the first aircraft to carry commercial passengers at supersonic speeds, they were not the first or only commercial airliners to break the sound barrier.

Supersonic flight was first achieved in 1947, with a US military prototype Bell X-1 aircraft.

It has become common, of course, in military aircraft, but only two commercial aircraft have ever managed it.

Planes most often turn after take off as a way to reduce noise.

Airplanes may begin turning immediately after takeoff to reduce noise over urban areas, to avoid high terrain and storm cells, at the request of air traffic control, or to turn & get established on course as soon as possible.

Most busy airports will have departure routes to help with traffic flow.

During takeoff, air accelerated behind the prop (known as the slipstream) follows a corkscrew pattern.

As it wraps itself around the fuselage of your plane, it hits the left side of your aircraft's tail, creating a yawing motion, and making the aircraft yaw left.

Pilots earn between $93,000.00 per year to as much as $200,000 to $300,000.00 per year depending on the type of pilot they are and what planes they are flying.

Airline pilots earn an average annual wage of $174,870.00, according, more than triple the average annual wage for all occupations, $53,490.00

In the 10 states where airline pilot salaries are the highest, the average annual wage can be more than $200,000.00, although these states are very exceptional.

Pilots may sometimes get scared especially when they first begin to fly.

However after they are used to flying the airplane they are typically not scared unless they are about to crash or know they are gonna crash.

Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot to achieve a transatlantic flight.

Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author.

Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Earhart was awarded a medal in recognition of her transatlantic flight in June 1928.

With that flight Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, though she was merely a passenger accompanying pilots Wilmer Stultz and Lou Gordon aboard the Fokker F. VII "Friendship."

The greatest pilot of all time is Erich Hartmann who was the most successful fighter pilot of all times with 352 kills.

A number that will never be surpassed.

His nickname „Bubi“ means „little boy“ – and it's easy to find out why he was called like that.

He was also called „The black devil“.

Another great pilot was Jacqueline Cochran.

Jacqueline Cochran became a pilot after a friend offered her a ride in an aircraft and she enjoyed flying.

It then became one of Jacqueline Cochran's goals to become a pilot which she achieved.

After a friend offered her a ride in an aircraft, Cochran began taking flying lessons at Roosevelt Airfield, Long Island in the early 1930s and learned to fly an aircraft in three weeks.

She then soloed and within two years obtained her commercial pilot's license.

Jaqueline Cochran had trained as a beautician and pursued that career in Montgomery, Alabama, in Pensacola, Florida, and from roughly 1931 in New York City, where she took the name Jacqueline.

She took her first flying lessons in 1932 and got her pilot's license in three weeks.

Jaqueline Cochran continued to fly for decades after the war, breaking many records, including becoming the first woman to break the sound barrier.

After their success, Jackie was asked to organize a program for training women pilots in the United States.

In 1943, Cochran's program became known as the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs).

In her early teens Jacqueline Cochran moved in with a Jewish family that owned hair salons.

Underage, Cochran worked mixing dyes when she secured a promotion by threatening her employer with disclosure to child labor authorities.

A year later, Cochran moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to work in another salon.

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