Static discharges

Hey guys.
This time, static dischargers. Again, many people probably know why they exist and what they do, but for those that don’t, here’s an explanation.

Static dischargers, commonly known as static wicks or static discharge wicks, are installed on the trailing edges of aircraft, including (electrically grounded) ailerons, elevators, rudder, wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizer tips. Fitted on almost all civilian aircraft today, they are high electrical resistance (6-200 megaohm) devices with a lower corona voltage than the surrounding aircraft structure. They control the corona discharge into the atmosphere, isolating noise and preventing it from interfering with aircraft communication equipment.[1] They are used on aircraft to allow the continuous satisfactory operation of onboard navigation and radio communication systems during precipitation (p-static) conditions. Precipitation static is an electrical charge on an airplane caused by flying through rain, snow, ice, or dust particles. When the aircraft charge is great enough, it discharges into the surrounding air. The discharge path is through pointed aircraft extremities, such as antennas, wing tips, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, and other protrusions. The discharge creates a broad-band radio frequency noise from DC to 1000 MHz. This RF noise can affect aircraft communication. During adverse charging conditions (air friction), static dischargers limit the potential static buildup on the aircraft and control interference generated by static charge. Static dischargers are not lightning arrestors and do not reduce or increase the likelihood of an aircraft being struck by lightning. Static dischargers are subject to damage as a result of lightning strike to the aircraft, and should be inspected after a lightning strike to ensure proper static discharge operation. Static dischargers will not function if they are not properly bonded to the aircraft. There must be a conductive path from all parts of the airplane to the dischargers, otherwise they will be useless. Access panels, doors, cowls, navigation lights, antenna mounting hardware, control surfaces, etc., can create static noise if they cannot discharge through the static wick.

Thanks for reading ;)


Very informative topic! Thanks for the information and pictures! :)


Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing. Never would’ve guessed that’s what those things were.

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Is it me or this is just a copy-paste from Wikipedia?


I’ve also seen in GA that the little Cord they plug up to the plane before Refueling also Discharges the electricity.

Sure looks a lot like one. Lol. I think someone was a bit lazy.


Here’s a very informative video on it by Captain Joe:


You can either read the topic, or stop complaining. It is indeed a copy and paste, however I am sure that many people never consider looking these things up, which is why I create the topics. I give credit to all sources used so I see no issue ;)

Oh at first the last pic I thought was a crashed plane lol. Anyway, very informative, educational topic and could help someone with a experiment on aircraft. Thanks for bringing this topic up to share to the community. Although I am a plane expert, I never heard of these helpful equipment before! Keep the learning flowing! And if I decide to build my own plane in my future, now I know that these should be needed on my aircraft.

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yup this is a c&p from wikipedia

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