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Sensors? On Wings

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:43 am

Can anyone tell me what those little rods/pointers situated on the edge of the wings are ? ( Theres at least 8 or more per wing )

I often get a window seat when flying and wonder exactly what they are and what they measure? ( I presume ? )

I apologise if this is a repeated query/post and very basic......I am still learning !!

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RE: Sensors? On Wings

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:23 am

If you mean the things on the back of the wing like in this photo (attached to the aileron and on the canoes):

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Photo © Krzysztof Malek

They're not sensors, they're static wicks, which dissipate static electricity built up as the plane flies through the air.

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RE: Sensors? On Wings

Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:41 am

Static Dischargers.

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RE: Sensors? On Wings

Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:12 pm

Anti-static wicks were first used on airplanes 90 years ago and, on Zeppelins, over 100 years ago.

I'm surprised that anybody doesn't know what they are but I'm glad that you asked.
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RE: Sensors? On Wings

Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:26 am


Static dischargers were developed by the US Navy when electronic communication and navigation equipment was first introduced on aircraft. Air friction on the fuselage causes electro-static buildup. Without the static dischargers this will reach a high voltage before dissipating into the surrounding air, causing 'sparks' that sound like crackling noises on the radios and disrupt navigation signals.
The static dischargers provide a conductor for this static electricity to flow off before a high voltage is built up.
No more sparks... clear communications!  Wink
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