Function, Design, and Types of Airplane Windshield Wiper Systems

With very advanced technology, even harsh weather and lightning does little to put a modern aircraft in harm’s way. As most storms occur at atmospheres lower than what aircraft operate in, there is not too much impeding an aircraft’s set schedule and flight plan. Nevertheless, as aircraft may have times in which they must fly through rainy weather, it is critical that they have windshield wipers or other rain removal systems that keep the windshield clear for the safety of flight. In this blog, we will provide a short overview of the various rain removal systems utilized for aircraft.

For the most basic of windshield wiper systems, wiper blade parts including the wiper, arm, and wiper motor work to remove rain from the windshield. Some smaller aircraft may utilize a hydraulically controlled wiper system, though nowadays a majority function using an electrical system. These various windshield wiper parts require various inspections and maintenance to ensure that they always function properly and efficiently, and adjustments and troubleshooting often do not pose too much of a problem or hinderance.

 Despite the reliability that basic windshield wipers provide, there are other systems that work to keep windshields of the cockpit of the airplane clean and clear. Chemicals that feature rain repellent are useful, and these require that aircraft window parts are treated so that rain beads up rather than streaking, mitigating obstruction of view. This system is often much more immediate as compared to windshield wipers, though chemicals have some downsides such as crews needing to reapply chemicals to windshields on set intervals, as well as ensuring that corrosion does not occur if chemicals are used in dryer conditions.

Hydrophobic coatings are also a popular alternative, functioning similarly to chemical coatings. With these coatings, water will bead up as it does with chemicals, and then naturally flows off of the windshield. This alternative is proving to be very popular, and many new aircraft feature this due to its various advantages. This is due to the fact that compared to windshield wipers, a hydrophobic coating has less maintenance involved, and does not have problems such as streaking from wiping pressure.

Beyond windshield wipers and the discussed alternatives, other methods such as using bleed air exist, and altogether the best choice depends on the type of aircraft in question. While window parts of one set of aircraft models may be curved, different types of window panes may be used in another, affecting what system and/or chemicals would best serve it. Many aircraft nowadays have also begun to use windows constructed from plexiglass, thus there is less desire for windshield wiper parts. In these cases, relying on chemicals, coatings, and the speed of the aircraft itself can remove obstructions of sight from the cockpit.

When deciding which system is best for your aircraft, look no further than ASAP Components. ASAP Components is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find windshield wiper parts and wiper blade parts you need, new or obsolete. We provide products and services such as board level components, NSN parts, electrical connectors, and other aviation parts that you are searching for. Our premium inventory consists of over six billion parts, and we only source from manufacturers that we trust. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-919-348-4040.


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