Lightning Test Lab Opens for Aircraft Components

Wichita State University has recently acquired a new lightning test lab, which became fully functional in January, to test aircrafts’ electronic components.

According to KMUW.org, research engineer Matt Wills said the main goal is aircraft safety. The “Shocker Generator” was built to deliver a high-voltage lightning strike to aircraft components to test their reliability in extreme weather.

“The test shows how well the material can protect against lightning and prevent catastrophic effects to an airplane,” reported KMUW.org, “Lab director Billy Martin says the need for airplane lightning testing increased in the last 25 years as manufacturers started using new materials and adding more electronic controls.”

“Martin came to Wichita State’s National Institute on Aviation Research (NIAR) about two years ago after he retired from Cessna,” according to KMUW.org, “He has spent his life researching, testing and working on electro-magnetic and environmental effects in aviation.”

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