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Lightning Interaction with USAF Aircraft,
AERONAUTICAL SYSTEMS DIV WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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This paper categorizes and analyzes data from 877 USAF aircraft lightning related mishap reports involving 56 aircraft types over a 13-year period 1970-1982. Aircraft are grouped into six general classes Attack, bomber, cargo, fighter, trainer, and helicopter. Data are tabulated under two major headings Operational conditions at the time of the lightning strike, and the effects of the strike. Operational conditions include aircraft attitude, aircraft altitude, outside air temperature, aircraft location with respect to clouds, precipitationturbulence, and electrical activity prior to the strike. Effects of the strike include attachment point, interferenceoutage, effect on mission, effect on personnel, structural damage, electricalelectronic damage, and repairreplacement costs. Interferenceoutage in the form of an abnormal condition observed following a strike was experienced in 20 percent of the reported lightning incidents. Aircraft mission was affected in 37 percent of the reported incidents but in most cases where lightning caused a precautionary abort subsequent ground inspection of the aircraft revealed only minor structural damage. Structural damage was experienced in 78 percent of the reported incidents. Electricalelectronic damage was sustained in 8 percent of the reported incidents. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE