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

Safe saves Everett Office Furniture’s future after fire

The business was able to reopen because vital paperwork was preserved.

Sales of U.S. homes fall year over year by most in 3½ years

Would-be buyers were stymied by rising prices and a shortage of homes for sale.

Why real estate investors are watching self-driving cars closely

With decisions on real estate made years in advance, could self-driving cars change how we live?

More than 60 Boeing 737s per month: Can suppliers keep up?

There was lots of talk this week about the prudence and pressures of soaring production rates.

Developer proposes an 18-story building in Lynnwood

It would be the second-tallest in the county and include apartments with retail space.

Even as stock markets shook, many investors held steady

Older investors were buying stocks, but at a lower rate than their younger counterparts.

Snohomish County business licenses

PLEASE NOTE: Business license information is obtained monthly from the Washington Secretary… Continue reading

New Everett mayor speaks out about business in city, region

Q&A: Cassie Franklin on what can be done to get Boeing to build the 797 here and attract new industries.

Aerospace analyst explains how he’ll help state’s Boeing bid

Richard Aboulafia will deliver a report on Washington’s strengths and weaknesses in landing the 797.

Most Read