How do you make planes lightning-proof?

See a plane being hit by lightning.

On average every single aeroplane is hit by lightning once a year, but since most planes are made out of metal, it's safe even when they're hit.

The metal conducts the electrical charge from the lightning so it travels through the plane's surface and out the other side without damaging it.

The very latest aircraft are made of carbon fibre which is much lighter than metal but does not conduct electricity.

This means it can be very badly damaged if it is hit by lightning - so new protection is needed.

New safety methods are being tested at a special Airbus 'lightning lab' in Cardiff, by recreating storms.

Artificial lightning bolts are fired at the carbon fibre to see what happens.

The scientists found that if they put a thin layer of metal into the carbon fibre it acts as a conductor and protects the plane's outer coating.

The damage from the lightning is massively reduced by adding the metal skin.

It means modern planes can be lighter but still protected.

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