Lightning can strike from clouds to the ground, clouds to other clouds, and even from the ground up to the clouds. So yes, an airplane could also get struck by lightning. In fact, some engineers estimate that every plane is struck by lightning at least once every two or three years. However, modern airplanes are engineered to be able to withstand lightning strikes. In fact, in a large commercial plane, the passengers may not even know that they were struck by lightning. Airplanes are designed such that currents from lightning strikes is conducted on the exterior of the plane. Highly flammable parts of the planes such as the fuselage are usually well insulated. Very sensitive electronic circuits that are critical to the safe operation of the plane are also well insulated. All commercial planes operated by major airlines have to pass extensive lightning tests before they are allowed to take to the skies. However, this may not be the case for some private jets built by hobbyists.


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