Howmet Aerospace innovation strikes again
Flite-Tite® fasteners offer lightning strike protection on carbon fiber reinforced aircraft
When lightning strikes a metallic aircraft, the current dissipates harmlessly across the entire structure. However, composite materials are insulators so the thousands of metallic fasteners that secure those airframes must also serve as a conduit to dissipate lightning currents. Unfortunately, lightning creates tiny arcs between traditional fasteners and composite structures, which could cause serious damage to a composite structure.
Working with our customers, Howmet Aerospace delivered a solution – the Flite-Tite® fastening system. This is our revolutionary, electromagnetic-management fastener that protects against lightning strikes. Flite-Tite fasteners are designed with a titanium or steel sleeve that prevents gaps between a composite airframe, enabling an electrical current to discharge from the aircraft without detrimental effects. Flite-Tite® fasteners hold composite airframe sections together tightly and securely – so lightning, which hits an airplane on average once a year, is far less of a threat.
As with many of our innovations, we worked with the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers to provide the breakthrough they needed. It’s just one more way Howmet Aerospace is reaching for the sky.