Lightning detection for turbulence/storm avoidance.

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3WE
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Lightning detection for turbulence/storm avoidance.

Postby 3WE » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:40 pm

Seems that in the 1970's and 1980's the typists-light-plane-operating-and-therefore-experts-in-all-things-aviation-bunch devoted a moderate amount of type-face to the Ryan (lightning-detection) Stormscope in Flying Magazine.

In particular, they would suggest that their low-tech Stormscope actually did a better job avoiding turbulence than true weather radar.

Of course, Richard had to out do his underling typists- and get an actual Radar on N210RC (which also provided a large cylindrical bulge on the wing. ;)

Seems as though there's some science to their feelings, which begs a simple question: Given ALL the advances in onboard data/etc, are airliners generally getting lightning data (automatically depicted on the weather radar or something?)

Ironingly- this is another one of those features that smart phones can give lightning data to back-seat drivers- so we can ring the call button and ask the hosties to report nearby lightning to you in the cockpit (at least before the doors are closed). Of course, we don't need smart phones to check flap deployment,

If happen to get on a flight with stormy weather around, I am seriously toying with doing this to be an a$$ :mrgreen:

Bottom line: The actual question is three paragraphs up. Thanks in advance.
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: Lightning detection for turbulence/storm avoidance.

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:37 am


Seems as though there's some science to their feelings, which begs a simple question: Given ALL the advances in onboard data/etc, are airliners generally getting lightning data (automatically depicted on the weather radar or something?)
Thank you for a question that is actually legitimate and interesting. The short answer is no, lightning is not automatically depicted. I'm not real familiar with Stormscope, so I won't comment on it, but as far as airliner systems, it is only on the latest version of the radar on the 320 series that we see a depiction of POSSIBLE lightning as well as POSSIBLE hail. It also depicts turbulence pretty accurately (it's shown in purple), so I've been pretty happy with that system. Generally speaking, ANY convective formation can contain lightning, so I don't know that I need a dedicated display just for that. I suppose it's more critical for a general aviation airplane that doesn't have our speed or our climb rate and may not be able to stay away from the nasty stuff as well as we can. Another issue I see is that, as the saying goes, lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, so even if one were depicted, that wouldn't mean that the next one might not be a good distance away, so...
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3WE
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Re: Lightning detection for turbulence/storm avoidance.

Postby 3WE » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:50 am

Thanks.

I will pontificate from my rear for a moment using flawed memory.

I think the Stormscope used pretty basic ADF type electronics to locate the bearing. The strength of the signal determined distance (a reasonable correlation- but strong lightning bolts would be indicated as closer than they actually were.)

The thing had various ranges- but the deal was to collect a few minutes worth of lightning and then clusters would be evident- and you’d avoid them.

This was the 1980s, so if you turned, you needed to clear the screen... however, I think it cleared lightning bolts in order after a few minutes.

The typists made the point that in some instances- heavy rain without lightning gave a better ride than with lightning.

Acknowledging that all of this is tendencies- not hard linkage.
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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3WE
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Re: Lightning detection for turbulence/storm avoidance.

Postby 3WE » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:20 am

Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.


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