How do airplanes stay safe from lightning?

A German photographer got a great image of a Boeing 777 being hit by lightning. (You can see the photo at his website.)

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; dcatchpole@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

More in Herald Business Journal

Nordstrom suspends buyout after struggling to get financing

A buyout was meant to help the company continue turnaround efforts outside the glare of market scrutiny.

More self-awareness could help build a better medical system

Marcy Shimada of Edmonds Family Medicine writes the second in a series about fixing our health care system.

Scratch-and-sniff brochures aimed to prevent disaster

Puget Sound Energy has distributed more than a million scratch-and-sniff brochures to… Continue reading

Jewelry, accessories store Fuego opens second site in Snohomish County

Northwest-based jewelry, accessories and gifts store Fuego opened a new outlet store… Continue reading

Extreme cleaning company Steri-Clean opens in Mukilteo

The first Washington franchise of the Steri-Clean company will celebrate its grand… Continue reading

Justices to hear government’s email dispute with Microsoft

A lower court ruled emails in a drug case couldn’t be searched because they were in Ireland.

Bombardier to partner with Airbus on C Series program

The move by Bombardier could possibly circumvent duties being imposed on the C Series.

Everett’s Access Laser sells majority stake to German company

Everett firm with 50 employees makes lasers for scientific, medical fields and self-driving vehicles

Most Read