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Re: REFLECTOR: Re: [c-a] Lightning strike

Martin, I have seen lightning strikes on fiberglass sailboats and it tends to do
one of three things.  Assuming that the lightning strike is on the mast or
supporting cables it a) blows a large hole in the boat, b) turns sections of the
fiber glass into a lovely bunch of strands that look like the lamps with all the
fine light pipes coming out the top, or c) micro perforates a section of glass.  I
saw this done to the stern of a sailboat and it looked like the hull on the inside
was sweating when it was in the water.


HadleyAir@aol.com wrote:

> Dave,
> First I agree that glass airplanes are no more prone to strikes than others.
> In fact, possibly less prone.
> I have seen your 'pinhole' points of exit on spam cans without static wicks
> due to static buildup/discharge. I have never seen a lightning strike result
> in a pinhole exit. I am not sure what lightning strike spam cans you've see,
> but I have had to repair beachball size explosions in tails of King Airs and
> twin Cessnas.....definitely not a pretty sight!  My personal experience
> repairing tail and wing sections and electrical systems on spam cans Vs: my
> reading and hearing about lightning strikes in fiberglass planes would lend me
> to believe that, at least from a damage/repair standpoint, if it is going to
> happen.....better ones Velocity than say their Bonanza!
> Andy supported at least in part this opinion with his price of repair
> statement.
> Lets carry this discussion a bit further. Composite aircraft are essentially
> flying static wicks. The difference between a spam can and a composite
> aircraft is that static buildup typically builds up then dissipates in
> localized points on spam cans. Ideally these points are predetermined by
> selective installing static wicks (carbon fiber) mechanically attached to a
> metal surface. Static dissipation on a fiberglass plane can occur like a
> washing action over the entire surface. I does not always seek a central
> location for discharge.
> The thing that is interesting to me here is that this particular lightning
> strike was ground based. "What if" it was a car with an antenna instead of a
> Velocity winglet sitting on that ramp at that location that day?
> Safe and speedy construction....
> Martin

// James F. Agnew
// Tampa, FL
// Velocity 173 FG Elite ( http://www.VelocityAircraft.com/ ) under construction