Air transportation has advantages that land vehicles do not have. Airplanes can go fast in the air and allow passengers to reach their destination faster than using land or sea transportation. When in the air, there is always the possibility of an airplane being struck by lightning. However, the aircraft is equipped with a system that makes it safe from lightning disturbances.
airplanes have a Static Discharge (SD) system on the fuselage. Thus, there is very little chance of an airplane being struck by lightning. As is known, lightning occurs because of the difference in electric charge in the air. As a result of friction between clouds or objects with the air, a static electric charge arises on the object.
Similar to airplanes, when moving in the air, static electricity will form in the fuselage. However, the SD immediately throws electricity into the air, making it less likely to be struck. If the SD does not work, the plane can be struck by lightning and the consequences can range from disrupting the aircraft’s communication and navigation equipment to burning in the air, which is a rare occurrence.
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SD planes are very rarely damaged, besides that maintenance is very simple because they are only in the form of wires or plastic plates filled with metal which are placed at the end of the wings or tail of the aircraft with a total of 12-16 pieces.
Every day the Earth is hit by 40,000 lightning bolts. However, because of the vastness of the Earth, the probability of lightning hitting an aircraft is very small. Lightning usually occurs when heavy rain hits a region of the Earth. It was explained that lightning is a natural phenomenon that can be compared to a giant capacitor.
The lightning phenomenon involving the first plate is a cloud (can be a negative plate or a positive plate) and the second plate is the Earth (considered neutral). Lightning can also occur from cloud to cloud, where one cloud is negatively charged and the other cloud is positively charged.