Several planes look a little odd, or have attachments that look odd, and so some people feel they must be part of a decades long conspiracy to spray stuff into the atmosphere to alter the weather or reduce the population. That’s obviously nonsense, but what are these strange planes?
[Update: there are many other photos like the “barrel” interior below, I’ve collected a lot of them on Metabunk]
Here’s one making the rounds, scary looking barrels, and a sign on the wall that possibly says “Hazmat inside”
What is it? It’s a Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner, specifically it’s WD001, a plane that was used for flight testing. The original photo can be found here – note the “Hazmat” text was added later. The barrels contain water, which is pumped around to shift the center of gravity to test various flight characteristics.
Here’s a description of a similar setup from the 2002 book, “Inside Boeing, Building the 777”, page 76., describing tests done in 1994.
From Boeing’s blog:
Remember, we test at the extremes of the weight/CG envelope. This requires us to control the CG during ground and flight conditions. We can move weight, in the form of water, forward or aft with the use of the water ballast system. This system is comprised of 48 barrels, each capable of carrying 460 pounds, connected by tubing to a pump. A computerized system tracks fuel placement, fuel burn, people placement, ballast, flap setting, landing gear position and water barrel quantity. The information is processed to display the airplane’s current CG. We move water or specify fuel tank usage to configure the CG within the specified test requirements.
Why are there overhead luggage compartments? It’s a test plane, and for FAA certification they have to demonstrate that everything works. That includes stuff like the emergency oxygen system, and more minor things like the luggage compartments. It’s a requirement that they don’t pop open in flight – so that needs to be tested. They are also handy for stowing the engineers’ stuff.
Here’s some pictures from Boeing:
And a lot more photos can be found on Boeing’s site.
This one gets a lot of use in the “chemtrail” forums:
Particularly because of the unusual collections of pipes sticking out in various places. There’s those two at the front, and then there is a group over the wing. Here’s some close ups
Very sinister looking tubes, but why are half of them facing the wrong way?
The plane is not for spraying the atmosphere, it’s for sampling the atmosphere. It’s a research aircraft, registration N701BN, operated by th e department of energy’s national labs. It’s pretty much one of a kind, so it’s hardly likely to be responsible for all the persistent contrails we see every day. The research is mostly on pollutants in the atmosphere, particularly from coal and oil burning power plants. But they also investigate the properties of clouds, which includes contrails.
Here’s another photo you see in “chemtrail” videos, with the implied suggestion that it’s some kind of evil spraying device:
Actually it IS a spraying device, but quite innocuous. It’s on an NKC-135A (55-3128) with the refueling boom modified to spray water. This used by the air force to test icing of planes in flight.
Here’s the original photo:
Here’s some more details:
This plane is quite interesting:
It’s an E-6B “Tacamo”. This photo shows it dumping fuel (photo from tacamo.org). The E-6B is used by the United States Strategic Command as an airborne communication center. You can see the navy logo on the right wing. The E-6B is a modified version of the Boeing 707-320, and the fuel vents have been moved from the wing tips to between the fuselage and the engines in order to separate it from the communication equipment in the wing tips. This is what the wing-tip ESM/SATCOM pod looks like:
It looks like this odd assemblage is also creating some wingtip vortex contrails as well. The plane is pretty much all white, which is something you hear mentioned from time to time in “chemtrail” conspiracy theories.
Here’s another photo of the same plane, taken from a “chemtrail” YouTube video:
It shows the opening and drogue for the ELF trailing wire antenna. This is a very long wire antenna that is extended behind the plane for several hundred feet and used for communications with submarines. The “drogue” is just a cone-shaped weight. Here’s a close-up
This plane also looks at first glance like it might be dumping fuel (click image for full sized photo):
But the trails are actually coming from six smoke generators. It was part of a NASA test to study wake vortices, you can read about it here:
Six smoke generators were installed under the wings of the 747 to provide a visual image of the trailing vortices. The object of the experiments was to test different configurations and mechanical devices on the747 that could be used to break up or lessen the strength of the vortices. The results of the tests could lead to shorter spacing between landings and takeoffs, which, in turn, could alleviate air-traffic congestion.
Here’s another image of the same plane:
This plane also occasionally get brought up in chemtrail conspiracy groups:
This is obviously not a contrail, it’s far too low and the trail is dropping too rapidly.
Here’s a video of it in action, titled “B747 chemtrails”. It’s interesting reading the comments, as the first comment correctly identifies what it is, and then everyone else just ignores that and starts speculating.
This one looks like a plane spraying stuff. But again it’s rather close to the ground. It’s actually taking off with the assistance of rockets. It’s not spraying, that’s just rocket exhaust.
This particular plane is a Boeing B-47B, rocket assisted take off, April 15, 1954. An no, that’s not a contrail in the sky behind it – it’s rip in the photo. Click on it for a large version from Wikipedia.
This one is used for cloud seeding. It does not actually spray anything but uses silver iodine flares that are either ejected, or burn in place.
It’s operated by the Sandy land Underground Water Conservation district of Plains, Texas, as part of their SOAR program. They have some more photos of similar equipment on their site. They are all small aircraft not capable of getting to the above 30,000 feet where contrails normally form.
This next photo is also of silver iodine flares, fixed underneath at large plane.
These also show up in “chemtrail” literature. They are sold by Weather Modification Inc, they make a range of weather modification equipment. About this one they say:
WMI racks for ejectable flares are mounted on the belly of the aircraft fuselage. Each rack holds 102 cartridges. When fired, the pyrotechnic is ignited and ejected from the aircraft. In this configuration, the WMI Lear 35A is equipped with four 102-count racks for ejectable glaciogenic pyrotechnics, a total of 408 flares.
Here’s another, this time from North American Weather Consultants, Inc.
About which they say:
This aircraft-mounted cloud seeding generator is fixed in place, and can burn a silver iodide solution during flight.
This one is the “Mk.32 drogue-type underwing pod on the Armée de l’Air Boeing C-135FR Stratotanker” (“93-CC”- s/n 63-8472 of GRV 93). It’s an in-flight refueling system on a French Boeing C-135FR Stratotanker, photographed in Canada, Feb 2005.
The following is supposed to be a plane that has “chemtrail aerosol nozzles” over three of the engines.
In reality, this plane N707MQ is a Boeing 707-320B. The engines are Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3:
It should be perfectly obvious that the “nozzles” are facing the wrong way to be spraying anything. They are actually turbocompressors, which are driven by engine bleed air, and are used to pressurize the interior of the plane. There are only three, as that’s all you need. Here’s a discussion: