Power management specialist Eaton believes it has solution to one of the tricky problems of engineering aircraft in carbonfibre: lightning strike protection.

Composite structures, unlike aluminium, do not conduct electricity aluminium, so designers need to add conductivity to allow full-circuit protection in the event of a lightning strike. Eaton promises to achieve this safety-critical function without adding weight by means of an integrated fuel system design it is showing at Paris.

The design, inspired by automotive fuel systems, could also slash the weight of an aircraft's fuel system by up to a fifth and reduce installation time during assembly. The trick is to embed composite fuel components with isolator technology to protect fuel tanks from ignition during lightning strikes.

Source: Flight Daily News