Dagger Dirk
Just another number

Member # 7231

posted 28 September 2001 13:33    
ask Airbus about stun guns (TAZERS) and their potential impact ON their FBW aircraft.

I've asked (but not yet gotten an answer from) an electrical engineer who first raised with me the question of the dubious practise (for weight-saving) of using the fuselage as an earth return medium in airliner electrics. In my view it's likely a given that the low-amp high-voltage TASER stun gun would be quite disruptive to sensitive electronics if they were to come in contact with the fuselage skin or any other (which means all) bonded component. Given that 100% bonding is always required in airframe metallic structures, it's hard to predict any definite effect on a particular system - but I would guess that a post-TASER FBW Airbus would be a markedly different proposition to a pre-TASERed one - and the variations wouldn't be along the lines that any of the Airbus systems designers had in mind. Prof Elaine Scarry could have a field day postulating with the EMI and EMP of that proposition.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that you would trip flight-control computers and fry CPU's. LED's (light emitting diodes), LCD's (Liquid Crystal Displays) would be lost permanently so that the actual status of systems would be indeterminate. Pilot's VDU's would probably be lost and basically the "glass" of a glass cockpit would become a dark and empty vessel. Solenoids and relays, being not as sensitive to voltage, would likely continue to do their duty. So you might well end up with a perfectly running vehicle, status unknown due to screen and indicator outages - but with no flight control anyway. That's just my best guess and you'd certainly need that opinion verified by someone who knew what they were talking about.
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Posts: 114 | From: Perth | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Just another number

Member # 2318

posted 28 September 2001 14:58    
Dagger Dirk

Your request for information on the stun gun subject matter made by you has been forwarded to a high tech forum for some experienced reasoned input.

I have been struck by lightening on many different a/c types with no known ill effects, however I find the stun gun subject matter interesting in light of the September 11 tragic events. Can its use affect the a/c? I don't know..

Hopefully Airbus has an opinion and will provide an answer.

Posts: 172 | From: North America | Registered: Aug 98  |  IP: Logged
Just another number

Member # 34654

posted 28 September 2001 15:46    
Tan, no need to wait for Airbu's opinion, it's always the pilots fault.

Lightning is outside the airframe and said frame is designed to handle it (faraday cage-wise).

Stun guns are inside the flight deck and may be knocked from the pilot's hand and touch equipment whilst operating or holding latent charge.

[ 28 September 2001: Message edited by: PAXboy ]


A window seat on the sunny side of the aircraft, please!

Posts: 100 | From: Hertfordshire, UK | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged