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Here Comes The Sun

Five facts which connect Typhoon with the sun and the moon
1. The pull of the moon affects the construction of Typhoon
How the moon affects typhoon construction

The techniques used in the construction of Typhoon have to be so precise that even the movements of the tide caused by the moon’s gravitational pull could throw the jet fighter tolerances out.

Every time the moon pulls the tide in and out, the ground under our feet actually moves by between one and two millimetres. BAE Systems has invested over £2.5million in special automated alignment technology which use laser-trackers and computer-automated jacks, as well as giant ‘floating’ concrete rafts on which the aircraft and measuring equipment sit, to ensure each Typhoon’s airframe is built as close to perfection possible.

2. Speed of light
A typhoon in full flight

It takes light from the Sun eight minutes to reach Earth. In that time, the Typhoon can travel from London to Paris.

Typhoon can reach supersonic speed in under 30 seconds. It is able to  pull up to 9g, which creates a pressure on the wings equivalent to 30 African elephants.

3. Coping with the sun’s glare
A typhoon pilot with the latest helmet technology

Using the very latest in helmet technology with the Typhoon Striker helmet, the pilot is able to see relevant and prioritised information in their visor to allow him to concentrate on the mission in hand.  Facing directly into the sun, or under the cover of darkness, they are guaranteed to know exactly where they, and even where their threats are - from the information displayed in their visor. Under the cover of darkness they can also view thermal images through the use of Night Vision Goggles. In any weather, the Typhoon pilot can safely navigate.

4. Shedding new light on cockpit displays
BAE Systems' Warton based ambient light facility

A fast jet pilot has just fractions of seconds for their eyes to adjust between different lighting conditions. The displays in the cockpit must be clear and legible at all times.

BAE Systems’ Ambient Light Facility in Warton is one of only two such sites in Europe. It is specifically designed to replicate the full range of lighting conditions faced every time a pilot takes to the skies.  This specialised facility has also been used by firms that make displays for bank ATM machines as part of a group called Sunshine Club.  The group brings together manufacturers that are tackling lighting issues.  They’d meet in the Ambient Light Facility to share expertise and shed new light on the subject.  

5. Harnessing the power of the sun to build Typhoon
Our Samlesbury site

The front fuselage for Typhoon is built at BAE Systems Samlesbury site in Lancashire.  Last year, BAE Systems secured approval to install a solar array on the site, which will see over 13 acres of land covered in around 16,000 individual solar panels to help generate electricity for the site’s operations. The installation will supply up to 2.5MW of peak electrical output, about 25% of Samlesbury's daily peak demand.