Tube-like objects on back of wing [Static Wicks, Static Dischargers]

Mick West

Staff member

This photo of what looks like "nozzles" is currently being sharing on social media as supposed evidence of a secret spraying program using commercial jets (i.e. the "chemtrail" theory).

However, these are just static discharge wicks, short sections of wire bolted to the wing that discharge any build up of static electricity. Without these wicks, static electricity can build up on the wing, and uncontrolled sparks can interfere with communications and navigation equipment.

The image that is being passed around has a very forced perspective. It look like the wicks go along the entire wing, but it's actually just a few feet towards the tip of the wing. The wicks are barely visible in most photo of a 747-8F, because the plane is so big, and the wicks are tiny.

From inside the plane they are barely visible, way out on the end of the wing.

This video shows the wicks in context, and gives you a better idea of their size.

Here's a patent for a static discharge wick. It's basically a piece of multi-strand steel cable, covered in plastic, less than half an inch thick.

There is actually one "nozzle" in the photo though, the fuel dump vent. Due to the force perspective it looks like it's in the middle of the wing, but it's actually near the end (with the wicks)

Heres the vent in action. Jets sometimes have to dump fuel when they have to return after takeoff (or land midway to their destination) due to some emergency.

And here's a shot of a fuel dump with the static wicks visible, giving a good sense of scale. This is on a 777.
Last edited:


Senior Member.
I found these small tube-like objects being discussed on a forum in 2009, this photo is what was being discussed.

I looked up static wicks and was led down a path of Boeing PDF files to find the supplier of the items in question, HR Smith (Technical Developments) Ltd., and a link to the product page.

They basically discharge built up static electricity that would otherwise damage the plane.

Hope that helps!

Last edited by a moderator:


Senior Member.
Smaller planes, like Airbus A320 have similar sticks on back of wing and winglets too:

From the wing tip end they look like this:
Last edited:

Mick West

Staff member
Thanks to @Fin for the original questions. I'm going to hijack the OP for a more detailed and useful explanation/debunking


Senior Member.
From the Airbus manuals. This shows where they are and how many can be missing or serviceable. Airbus call them "Static Dischargers".

static 2.png

static 1.png

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member.
Not many things on an aircraft that you're allowed to lose 1/5th of.... Interesting, thanks.

Depends on the aircraft. Somewhere I have a schematic of what the A-10 was designed to fly without. It's... Enlightening.

Edit: Can't find it. Have a Wikipedia instead.
Last edited:
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Jesse3959 FE Debunked with water tube level - 187 foot building 21.2 miles away below eye level Flat Earth 0
MikeC Solved: Tube in MH 17 wreckage?? [9m111 anti-tank rocket from old Il-76 footage] Flight MH17 22
Mick West Solar Tube Shaped UFO over Korosten, Ukraine [CGI by Kaschuba brothers] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 28
Danny55 I liked this video on you tube Contrails and Chemtrails 0
Mick West Corbell: "Unidentified glowing objects near US Navy ship" [Planes or drones?] UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 17
R Two objects approaching ISS UFOs and Aliens 12
Mick West Judging Size and Distance of Unidentified Objects UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 74
J How do inferior mirages hide objects Flat Earth 3
RevenTexX CIA UFO Photo Multiple Round Objects - Reflection of Bridge Rivets UFOs and Aliens 5
D Mysterious illuminated objects filmed from ferry off US coast[Military flares] UFOs and Aliens 6
Wiggles Claim: Distant Objects Being Obscured Is Due To the "Mirror Blocking" Effect of Inferior Mirages Flat Earth 7
mudr0 Need Debunking: Video claiming zigzaggin objects and movement prove EVA filmed in pool General Discussion 33
Justin Shaw New strange drone footage - small white objects moving fast UFOs and Aliens 30
Snake Plisken Two objects over Ribblehead Viaduct [Probably birds] UFOs and Aliens 4
J 10 White "UFO" objects filmed flying over Japan UFOs and Aliens 15
Trailspotter Using Google Earth Identify Contrails and other Objects in the Sky Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 6
James Adams Rectangular building type objects on the surface of the moon [Like the Triangle] General Discussion 3
S Claim: "Most U.S. terror deaths have come from 'extreme right wing groups' in recent years" General Discussion 14
Ric Werme Curious effect over commercial airplane wing. I suspect reflections from ice Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 58
JRBids "Chemtrail off your left wing": Air Traffic Controller Contrails and Chemtrails 18
Trailblazer Fuel dump from one wing? Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 14
Mick West ExpressJet Plane Leaking Fuel From the Wing Contrails and Chemtrails 0
Mick West Butterfly UFO - Things it Might Be, Like an EDF Flying Wing UFOs and Aliens 17
Marine0811 Plane trail at wings, none at engines? [Aerodynamic contrails, no flaps] Contrails and Chemtrails 4
KC-10FE Identified: Wing with Three Gold Nozzles [D-ADLR Gulfstream G550 - German Research Plane ] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 6
FuzzyUK Debunked: Plane leaving trails from under wing [E-6 TACAMO Fuel Dump] Contrails and Chemtrails 2
Related Articles

Related Articles