Thursday, April 5, 2007
The system had 1 large and 2 smaller tanks. It was hard to tell in the cramped compartment but it looked like the large tank could hold 50 gallons. The tanks were connected to a fill and drain valve that passed through the fuselage just behind the drain valve for the waste system. When I had a chance to look for this connection under the plane I found it cunningly hidden behind a panel under the panel used to access the waste drain.
I began to trace the piping from the pumps. These pipes lead to a network of small pipes that ended in the trailing edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizers. If you look closely at the wings of a large airplane you will see a set of wires, about the size of your finger, extending from the trailing edge of the wing surfaces. These are the static discharge wicks. They are used to dissipate the static electric charge that builds up on a plane in flight. I discovered that the pipes from this mystery system lead to every 1 out of 3 of these static discharge wicks. These wicks had been "hollowed out" to allow whatever flows through these pipes to be discharged through these fake wicks. Click here for more.