AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

The Purpose of Rain Gutters in Aircraft

While most of an aircraft is already sealed off from weather phenomena by nature of being a fully enclosed space, if you look closely, you may spot several rain gutters. Rather than keeping water from pooling anywhere on the vessel, these gutters are mainly used to direct water away from doors and other access points. Unlike other rain gutters, those on aircraft are much smaller and thinner so that they will not interfere with the aerodynamics of the vessel. Nevertheless, these thin gutters are effective at guiding rainwater away from entrances.

Aircraft rain gutters are often located above the cabin door on the fuselage, where they allow the rapid drain of water away from the opening. The purpose for this is to prevent rainwater from sliding down onto the passengers and crew as they enter and exit the plane. Even though many large aircraft will have a covered jet-bridge which allows passengers to enter the plane directly from the terminal, there may be gaps in coverage where the bridge and plane connect. To avoid any potential issues, the rain gutters are always placed above doors and inclined downward in the forward direction. Therefore, all the rainwater captured will be drained toward the nose of the aircraft.

Aside from the doorway, there may also be rain gutters located above the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) access door, where they direct water away from the opening while technicians conduct maintenance. Moreover, another place that gutters may often be found on an aircraft is on the underside of the wing, near the tank vent. This vent exists as a way for the fuel tank to breathe, so when you overfill the tank, it has a place where the air and fuel can escape. Venting is also important when the airplane climbs and descends, as the air pressure is changed with altitude. In order to keep water from getting into the fuel tank, rain gutters are placed around the vent to redirect water away and off the wing.

While aircraft rain gutters serve their purpose in many cases, in heavy rain conditions, they may be less effective. As a result of their slim dimensions, the rain gutters cannot handle a heavy deluge. Consequently, commercial pilots will often wait until weather conditions improve or install additional cover before opening the door. Besides soaking the passengers, a rush of water falling through the gap in a jet-bridge can find its way onto the cabin floor. To avoid both issues, there are standard procedures set in place for how to operate on the tarmac during heavy rainfall.

In conclusion, rain gutters are constructed on airplanes to prevent rainwater from entering the plane and affecting passengers as they enter or exit the vessel. If you are an aircraft owner or operator in need of rain gutters and/or other aviation equipment, Logistics 3Sixty is ready to support you with your fulfillment needs. As a leading distributor of aircraft components that have been tested for their durability and airworthiness, you can rely on our inventory of over 2 billion parts. Begin procuring the parts you need from our team of market experts when you submit a Request for Quote (RFQ) form on any item(s) of interest. With representatives on standby 24/7x365, you can expect a custom solution to your parts needs in 15 minutes or less!


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