Military Review

F-35 composite structure does not provide lightning protection


In the United States, preparations for the National Guard exercises in Wisconsin are being discussed. Attention was drawn to a photograph from the Volk Field military base that appeared on the official pages of the US National Guard.

The photograph shows three lightning rods deployed over the aircraft. American columnist Joseph Trevithick writes that it turns out to be a play on words: fifth-generation F-35A fighters, which are called "Lightning II" (Lightning II), save from possible lightning strikes. And all this happens in preparation for the maneuvers, which the US National Guard called the "Northern Lightning".

The United States notes that fifth-generation fighters are vulnerable to lightning strikes when located at home airfields.

In particular, the technical personnel of military bases are afraid of detonation of fuel in the tanks and the entire fuel system of the F-35. If the plane is not protected from a natural electrical discharge of high power, then the impact can lead to a fire or even an explosion due to the fact that oxygen could accumulate in the fighter's fuel system.

As it turned out, the structure of the F-35 composite material, unlike an aircraft with a traditional metal skin, does not provide it with passive lightning protection.

Joseph Trevithick writes that there are additional risks. For example, we are talking about the fact that lightning can damage the components of the ALIS system. This is an autonomous logistic information system, the existing version of which is being phased out by the US Air Force due to many claims from pilots and technicians.

In addition, it was noted that the risk of lightning for the F-35 is increasing due to problems with the OBIGGS onboard system, designed to pump nitrogen-enriched air into the fuel system. This system is designed to prevent the risk of accumulation of other, hazardous gases. The problem is that the OBIGGS system detects damage to the pipes connecting to the fuel tank earlier than the manufacturer's specified terms. The electrical discharge can therefore ignite the fighter's fuel. Technicians are required to purge the system, including fuel tanks, with nitrogen more frequently.
Photos used:
US National Guard
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  1. aszzz888
    aszzz888 18 August 2020 06: 50
    And what will the shopping mates say about this, who enthusiastically praise this piece of iron? laughing Pi.C. If they start comparing toharshi with our planes, let them immediately bother to show the lightning rods near our equipment. (fuel storage is not counted)
  2. Alex_You
    Alex_You 18 August 2020 06: 51
    Fortune telling on coffee grounds, in this case from a photograph.
  3. RUnnm
    RUnnm 18 August 2020 06: 54
    In general, a potential saboteur just needs to rub this ebony wunderwaffe with a woolen cloth wink
  4. Victor_B
    Victor_B 18 August 2020 06: 55
    However, the composite is a dielectric.
    If the potential equalization is unsuccessful, the composite will fly apart.
    I suppose both the SU-57 and the MS-21 have such a problem.
    1. gridasov
      gridasov 18 August 2020 08: 54
      When the surface of the outflow is ionized by air or liquids, the electric magnetic potential forms magnetic processes regardless of what we call the material. There are no non-magnetic materials. There are various methods of forming electronic magnetic processes in them. Otherwise, it is worth talking about the level of use of the new quality of energy processes.
      1. Victor_B
        Victor_B 18 August 2020 08: 55
        Quote: gridasov
        Non-magnetic materials do not exist

        1. gridasov
          gridasov 18 August 2020 09: 01
          As a minimum, any linear segment can be heated on one side and cooled on the other. And get the potential difference. But there is a very simple method of forming ed magnetic processes in absolutely any materials. In this case, I am talking about the solid state of aggregation of a material with a relatively stable structure. In liquids, this occurs through changes in the potential energy of the state of the molecules.
          1. Victor_B
            Victor_B 18 August 2020 09: 08
            Piques interest
            and such a cut.
            How do you women walk there,
            in pantaloons, or without?

            So what is more susceptible to the destructive effect of static electricity metal or composite?
            1. gridasov
              gridasov 18 August 2020 09: 12
              The structure of the composite material will crumble under high aerodynamic loads. Metal parts to tear in the areas of the highest spin of the magnetic field
              1. Victor_B
                Victor_B 18 August 2020 09: 15
                Quote: gridasov
                The structure of the composite material will crumble at high aerodynamic loads

                And the men didn’t know!
                Bobing, how proud he is of the "black wing" of the 787!
                Ours on MS-21 did their best.
                at high aerodynamic loads
                not high enough?
                1. gridasov
                  gridasov 18 August 2020 09: 20
                  We speak different languages. I mean flying at hyperspeed, and most importantly high acceleration and maneuvering. You are talking about the so-called static loads and subsonic speeds. Be healthy ! all the best!
                  1. Victor_B
                    Victor_B 18 August 2020 09: 23
                    Quote: gridasov
                    You are talking about the so-called static loads

                    Actually, it's in the article about static ELECTRICITY!
                    F-35 composite structure does not provide lightning protection
                    However, the title of the article!
                    1. Kasym
                      Kasym 18 August 2020 18: 41
                      Victor, about the black wing of the MC-21 is written in "Arguments of the Week" # 31 (725) August 12-18, 2020. The article "Guests from the Future." Not everything is so good with him. hi
    2. figwam
      figwam 18 August 2020 09: 46
      By the way, the serial Su-57 already comes with a stealth coating, it's smooth steel.

  5. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 18 August 2020 06: 56
    F-35A fifth generation fighters, which are called "Lightning" (Lightning II) save from possible lightning strikes. And all this is happening in preparation for the maneuvers that the US National Guard called the "Northern Lightning".
    It is no coincidence that lightning has been mentioned so many times. No matter what happens. You cannot hide from fate even behind a lightning rod.
  6. Avior
    Avior 18 August 2020 07: 23
    On the ground, the destructive effect of lightning is perhaps more pronounced due to the fact that the potential difference with the ground is maximum.
    Especially electronics.
    I think other aircraft also have this problem.
    Therefore, I think that this is either the usual reinsurance or some work was planned - refueling, for example, or something else.
    Alternatively, for some reason, they were there before and they were simply not removed, or they were just constantly standing.
    It's not really hard to believe what was written in the article.
    Composites are increasingly used in aviation, including civil aviation, and there are no problems.
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 18 August 2020 07: 45
      Composites are increasingly used in aviation, including civil aviation, and there are no problems.

      what does composites have to do with it? and without them, the plane is full of metal elements. How do you make mechanization drives out of composite? You can't hide everything under the skin. And since there is metal, then there may be a breakdown. Overload protection question
      1. Avior
        Avior 18 August 2020 08: 27
        Have you read the article?
        The article talks about the fact that composite elements seem to conduct current worse than metal, and that is why they installed lightning rods.
        There is a lot of metal on the plane, starting with the engine and other things.
        Lightning protection on airplanes is well developed, and protection of individual blocks and units from overvoltage is mandatory, but this is only one of the elements.
        There is still a pilot sitting there, he also needs to be protected.
        1. Ka-52
          Ka-52 18 August 2020 09: 33
          Have you read the article?

          reading is not enough. You also need to comprehend))
          There is a lot of metal on the plane, starting with the engine and other things.

          the engine is located inside the airframe, like most power elements - frames and spars. If they are covered with composite panels, then they are not threatened with discharge. Another thing is metal parts such as antennas, drives, technological hatches, etc. But one more point - the stealth coating is made on the basis of nanoferrite composition. And he is a guide in himself.
          1. Avior
            Avior 18 August 2020 11: 09
            This is for you to the author of the article, I did not argue with anything like that.
    2. NN52
      NN52 18 August 2020 09: 41

      These are the "mobile" pieces they buy for $ 20. And everywhere they carry with them when relocating.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 18 August 2020 11: 00
        When the Su-57 appears in the troops, where there are also many composites, and the Aerospace Forces
        will have to buy such masts. It's a shame if the plane is under $ 100 million
        burned by lightning at the airfield. And hangars, by the way, will also have to be built.
        Like the Su-27 under the snow, the Su-57 cannot be left ...
  7. rocket757
    rocket757 18 August 2020 07: 25
    Come on, they will introduce some more restrictions in the operating instructions .... although it's cool, lightning can crash during exercises under the name of the same lightning! Pun.
  8. sabakina
    sabakina 18 August 2020 07: 28
    Well, about the fuel and the fuel system is clear. Why don't they write about electronics? Or she's so unkillable on the F-35. that she is not afraid of the most powerful lightning discharge? recourse
    1. rocket757
      rocket757 18 August 2020 08: 31
      Hi Vyacheslav soldier
      The electronics will crash, there is a chance for the pilot to have time to eject! The fuel will blaze / explode, the pilot won't even have time to chirp, let alone slip away ... a bad option, a very bad one.
  9. Cowbra
    Cowbra 18 August 2020 07: 42
    To this day, the structure of the F-35 does not even ensure its acceptance into service, the status is "limited combat capability", the state administration is overwhelmed. Saw, Shura, saw)))
  10. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 18 August 2020 08: 50
    The danger of a lightning strike on a military aircraft in a parking lot is more theoretical. So there is no need to place high hopes on the fact that the F-35 will be hit by "heavenly thunder".
    No, of course you can postebatsya, what?
    But let's not forget that the number of bad, expensive, more than once ridiculed Fu has already exceeded 550 boards. They are already in service with seven, if I am not mistaken, the armies of the world, according to rumors, have been run in combat conditions. In contrast to the good, cheap, Su aircraft, more than once glorified in the VO, the number of prototypes and experimental boards of which has not yet reached a dozen, or has it? Something I'm already confused about in publications about installation lots, serial releases, government orders, etc. hi
    1. Cowbra
      Cowbra 18 August 2020 09: 18
      550 means the sawmill works great! Fuckers put on shoes in a conveyor way. And lightning is just not in the parking lot
      May 28, 2020 - Lightning struck a plane landing in Krasnoyarsk. On May 27 this was reported by "RIA Novosti"

      13 Feb 2020 - In the UK, lightning strikes a flying passenger plane of the Irish airline Aer Lingus.
      According to statistics, every year, each plane is hit by several lightning strikes - during the time when it overcomes the thunderstorm front during takeoff or landing.
      1. voyaka uh
        voyaka uh 18 August 2020 16: 05
        "550 means the sawmill works great!" ///
        Works well. By the end of the year it will be 600.
        The sawmill must finish
        the number of fat flightless penguins is up to 2600-3000 pieces.
        And then - the end of America!
        Although, for sure, lightning will destroy them even earlier.
        1. Cowbra
          Cowbra 18 August 2020 16: 15
          Quote: voyaka uh
          The sawmill must finish
          the number of fat flightless penguins is up to 2600-3000 pieces.

          Not. The Israeli suckers will run out of money sooner, and the Poles live on credit, and their benefits have been cut ...
          There is such an anecdote about the Israeli fighter on the F-35 ...
          - Everyone loses, this is a robbery!
          - Maybe "go to bed"?
          - No, it's lousy! I forgot my gun at home ...
          How does a cannon work? Ah-ah, "forgot the gun at home"?
          1. 3danimal
            3danimal 19 August 2020 03: 53
            Israeli suckers run out of money sooner

            The Japanese will not run out - their budget is $ 1,5 trillion. And most importantly, the United States itself still has them, because most of the aircraft are produced for themselves.
            And yes, such rates of production (Su-35, say) are not available to us ...
            1. Cowbra
              Cowbra 19 August 2020 04: 43
              for the budget - I believe
  11. APASUS
    APASUS 18 August 2020 09: 14
    This is all slander of ill-wishers on the F-35. The brainchild of Americans cannot be afraid of lightning. This is an antenna for communication with space, is powered by heavenly forces !! With such a price tag, the aliens themselves protect them
    laughing lol wink
  12. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 18 August 2020 10: 56
    All modern aircraft are built from composites.
    There is less and less aluminum.
    Therefore, it is not superfluous to install lightning rods over any aircraft.
    in areas where thunderstorms are frequent.
  13. 123456789
    123456789 18 August 2020 12: 04
    And these people forbid us (picking our noses) to use mobile phones
  14. Ax Matt
    Ax Matt 18 August 2020 16: 08
    Author! Cases !!! Something: fuel systems ... "... are vulnerable" (!) TO HIT, but not FROM!
  15. Dzafdet
    Dzafdet 18 August 2020 20: 13
    Where is Voyaka? He always stands for the F-35 ...
  16. Sergey Kulikov_3
    Sergey Kulikov_3 18 August 2020 21: 24
    A good plane, you can fix the imperfections later, the main thing is to release more, so they will catch up with the number up to 2600 and win everyone. Even Turks and Poles dream of such planes, Ukrainians and they are considering options for purchasing f35x roofing felts, roofing felts of some corn workers, but they are not fools, they like to count money. This is how they will buy everything for themselves f35, how they will put them in a row and start with the Americans to pay money for guesting and grubbing, but what about brothels, booze, and all sorts of other consumer goods. Not only Japan and Germany are countries of developed capitalism. What am I talking about, but yes: Well, who hare, hare ?! Vybegaytsa!
    1. Cowbra
      Cowbra 19 August 2020 04: 52
      Vybegayaa - turers - here - will not lie down. will be taken away