Facts About Electrically Grounding Airplanes

Aircraft are designed to soar thousands of miles above ground. So, how could they possibly be electrically grounded? To understand this concept, we must debunk a couple of myths about airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA.

Myth #1: Grounding must involve the ground

This terminology can be a bit misleading. While the literal ground may be involved in some grounding scenarios, access to the ground is not required for all grounding, including airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA.

The fact is, the term “grounding” refers to a path used to direct potentially dangerous levels of electrical current. It does not refer to the ground itself. The excess current flows through this grounding path rather than a device’s internal circuitry. Here’s an example:

There is an electrical surge near a home (possibly due to a lightning strike or an electrical malfunction), and this sends high volumes of electrical current through the circuitry of the home. This current reaches a light switch, which is rated for far less current than what the surge sends through it. If the device is not grounded, the internal circuits may be fried, and anyone who touches that switch may be shocked or electrocuted. However, if the device is grounded, the excess electricity will flow through an alternate route. This new path offers the path of least resistance, through which the current will naturally travel.

For airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA, the grounding is accomplished through the plane’s exterior body. Made of conductive materials such as aluminum, the body grounds the plane. If excess electricity is produced, the current travels to the exterior body, where it is dissipated safely. Many aircraft also feature static dischargers that release this electricity into the atmosphere.

Myth #2: Lightning strikes are disastrous to airplanes because they aren’t grounded

As we discovered when debunking the first myth, airplanes are grounded, so they can withstand lightning strikes. In fact, pilots report that airplanes are struck by lightning on average once every 3,000 flight hours. These strikes can be detected by the noise and turbulence they may cause, but the body of the plane safely absorbs and dissipates the electricity. Because of this airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA, the plane can typically continue to fly without issue after a lightning strike.

Just the facts

Now that we’ve debunked the common myths about airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA, we can turn to the facts. Here are the basics to remember:

• Airplanes are grounded by their conductive metal exteriors.
• How it works: When airplanes experience excess electricity, the current is absorbed and dissipated by the exterior of the plane.
• Due to airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA, aircraft can withstand lightning strikes and continue to fly safely.

Stay grounded

For more insights about airplane electrical grounding in Alexandria, VA and other electrical issues, contact the experts at Walsh Electric. We have been the area’s go-to electricians since 1985. Offering repairs, upgrades, maintenance and 24-hour emergency service, our certified technicians are ready to assist you. Contact us today at 703-451-6622.