View Full Version : Rain repellant

Captain Smiley
2nd Apr 2003, 07:25
Is there any reason rain repellant is not used by more companies on their aircraft.

My company uses Rain X or a similar product on their turbo prop fleet and it provides excellent visibility in light to heavy rain. I have never had to use the wipers except during taxi in very heavy showers.

I imagine the benefit would be the same on jet aircraft.

2nd Apr 2003, 07:32

Going from memory (as I don't keep Rainex in the office - not much call for it there) but I thought there was a warning on Rainex not to use it on certain surfaces, but I can't remember what those surfaces are. Agree Rainex is good stuff - used it for the past 15 years (on cars) and love that "warp effect" of raindrops on the windscreen at speed.

Bally Heck
2nd Apr 2003, 07:49
From memory, and I know this isn't Rain X, but probably a similar product, I believe it is no longer used because......

POTENTIAL RAINBOE TOXICITY IN COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT COCKPITS. Victoria Voge, MD, MPH, Gonzales, Tex; and Lance Schaeffer, JD, San Diego, Calif.

RainBoe (97% Freon 113) is the only windshield rain repellent ever approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is the only rain repellent used in commercial aircraft. Chlorofluorohydrocarbons, such as Freon 113 (1,1,2-trichloro-l,2,2-trifluoroethane) are known to be cardiotoxic, nephrotoxic, respirotoxic, neurotoxic, and carcinogenic (in some cases). Freon 113 is known to cause central nervous system depression and performance decrement. British Airways recorded fifty RainBoe leaks in the cockpits of their commercial aircraft during a 5-year period. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FAA presently do not have documentation that the placement of bottles of windshield rain repellent either in the cockpit or with hoses going through the cockpit poses safety problems. NASA's anonymous Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has documented eight individual reports of one or more leak incidents during the years 1991 to April 1995. During the presentation, we will discuss some of the ASRS reports of pilots lining their aircraft up for approaches to the wrong runway; subjective aircrew complaints of nausea, dizziness, incoordination, "sloppy" flying, headaches, lightheadedness, and forgetfulness. We will also discuss a commercial aircraft mishap possibly attributable to Freon 113 toxicity. We will end the discussion by analyzing the occupational medicine physician's role in determining whether the use of this windshield rain repellent in commercial aircraft is safe and what can be done to alert the various agencies to problems that may exist.

I think:confused:

2nd Apr 2003, 07:56
Yup, thats what we were told when it was taken off our B744s, a health and safety hazard, damaging to people as well as the environment. (Rainboe, that is).

Big shame as it worked wonders in heavy tropical rainstorms etc.

FlyingFox 29
2nd Apr 2003, 11:57
FWIW, RainX is not recommended for use on plastics such as acrylics, perspex and the like. It's also rather good at removing paint and laquer and perishing rubber, so whilst it may be great in its primary role, I'm guessing it wouldn't contriubte greatly to longevity and integrity of some of the items it would run on to.
The ingredients accelerate the break down of the plasticiser (As I found out the hard way after ruining a visor on me crash helmet one time). Usual signs of this are fogging of the material and the onset of minute creeping fracture lines.

Had a quiet word with a CFI about that one time when I saw him vigorously applying the stuff to the canopy of his newest, shiniest aquisition to the club fleet. As a reward for passing on this nugget, I was allowed to clean all the other canopies that day. JOY! :mad:

Dunno about that other stuff though. Sounds really nasty.

2nd Apr 2003, 16:23
Ahem--not exactly approved by the FAA but I used Pledge furniture wax on my Cessna 207 windscreen when I flew in bush Alaska. Much cheaper than RainX and probably just as effective.

Not to mention the "lemony fresh scent."

Fly safe.

Max Angle
3rd Apr 2003, 00:37
We did not use rain repellant for quite a while on our Airbus a/c but are now using a new formula that is non-toxic. Not sure if it's as good as the old stuff but it still makes quite a big difference to the vis. in the rain.

Notso Fantastic
3rd Apr 2003, 06:34
Apart from its extreme toxicity (and it has been implicated in some worrying disabling incidents with leaks into the Flight Deck and to Maintenance personel), you have a problem if you use it on a dry windscreen or it suddenly stops raining after giving a squirt. It seriously degrades vision through the screen. Use the wipers to try and clear it and vision becomes terrible. I always thought it was just not worth having at all, even at BOM in the monsoon season. With decent wipers airlines save a fortune ditching it, and I didn't like sitting next to the bottle! (stored behind the Captain)

Onan the Clumsy
3rd Apr 2003, 06:41
At first glance, I thought this topic was "Brain repellant'. :}

I use RainX on the car. I tried the pink stuff they have that you pour directly into the water, but it left stains abaft of the nozzles. I stick with the direct apply stuff now. Not really been an issue on the a/c, though I always try and clean the windshield before flight.