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Protection lighting of aircraft - Thesis Example

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Lightning strikes to earth objects cause fire, damage and destruction. Benjamin Franklin is credited with the origin of the lightning protection science in 1752 when he first proposed the use of a…
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Protection lighting of aircraft
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Download file to see previous pages Despite these major advancements in knowledge, a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) study for the 5 year period from 2007 to 2011, says that on average 22,600 fires are caused in the US by lightning each year. In addition to property damage of $ 451 million, these fires cause on average 9 deaths, 53 serious injuries (Ahrens). Lightning protection measures do not prevent lightning strikes but help reduce damage caused by them. Dr. Richard Kithil, the President of the National Lightning Safety Institute is quoted on their website as saying,
“Lightning is a capricious, random and unpredictable event. Its physical effects include current levels sometimes in excess of 400 kA, temperatures up to 50,000 degrees F and speeds approaching one-third the speed of light. Globally some 2000 on-going thunderstorms cause about 100 lightning strikes to earth each second. Lightning prevention or protection in an absolute sense is impossible. A diminution of its consequences together with incremental safety improvements is all that is possible” (Kithil).
Most parts of the US experience 20 to 80 thunderstorm days in a year. Parts of South America and Africa have 100 to 200 thunderstorm days in a year. On a typical thunderstorm day, there could be as many as 10,000 lightning strikes to ground (NLSI Report).
The Office of Emergency Management for New York City reports that the Empire State Building is struck by lightning on average 25 times a year and in one particular thunderstorm, it was hit 8 times in 24 minutes (OEM- NYC). The fact that the iconic building remains undamaged by these lightning strikes shows that well designed and applied lightning protection measures serve to minimize the risk of damage due to lightning strikes.
1.3) Airplanes fly in close proximity to thunderclouds and should be vulnerable to lightning strikes. Some 19,500 commercial aircraft are estimated to be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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