One thing that has been pointed out about “Chemtrail” conspiracy theories is that if there actually were planes spraying chemicals for some evil purpose, they would surely be seen on the ground during maintenance, refueling or topping off the chemical tanks. It’s a bit difficult, after all, to hide a massive fleet of jumbo jets that are constantly out doing evil bidding (mass vaccination, mass poisoning, causing global warming, attempting to counteract global warming, mind control, poisoning or whatever other story is out there – the chemtrail crowd still doesn’t seem to be in agreement as to what the chemicals are for.)
Unfortunately, the chemtrail community has managed to address this point by producing a lot of photos of what they report are chemtrail planes, spotted in flight, on the tarmac, in hangers and occasionally photographed from the inside, presumably leaked by the murderous henchmen of the evil plots.
The reality of these claims: Most of these pictures are real, but they’re not what they are claimed to be. Airplanes are used for a lot more than transporting passengers, and if you look hard enough, you’re bound to find military and civillian aircraft with all kinds of attachments and equipment on them. These include antennas, refueling booms, air samplers, fuel dump ports, anti-missile systems and other hardware.
Now, lets take a look at some of the image claims and the reality of things…
The Claim: These photos show an aircraft from a top secret French Air Force department which has mysterious pods that are used for spraying some kind of chemical
The Reality: If you believe the website where the first photograph is posted, the insignia may indeed be from a French Air Force aircraft. The second photo does not show any insignia or lettering that would indicate country, so it could be American, French or from some other country. The photos show the same basic device. It’s a refueling pod. The pod is attached to a transport aircraft and allows it to act as an aerial refueled. The small propeller in the front is actually a ram-air turbine. It provides power to the pumps and other equipment in the pod from the air flow generated by the aircraft moving forward. This is done to simplify the setup of the system. It avoids having to run wiring or hydraulics to the pod by allowing it to generate its own power internally.
There are several reasons why a removable pod like this might be added to an aircraft. It could be used to allow a transport aircraft to provide refueling capabilities. It may also be added to US Air Force tankers, such as the US KC-135 or French KC-135FR aircraft to provide them with the ability to act as “Probe and Drogue” refuelers without compromising their ability to provide for “boom and receptical” refueling. The boom system is preferred by the US Air Force and is better suited to refueling large aircraft for it’s higher operating speeds and high flow rate. It gives the refueling technician control of a boom that is guided into a reception on the receiving aircraft. The probe and drogue system is simpler and more compact, making it better for use with smaller carrier-based refueling aircraft. It is also can be used for refueling of certain helicopters.
The addition of refueling pods to boom-equipped refueling aircraft allows for refueling of Naval aircraft, as well as refueling of aircraft from allied countries such as the UK, which exclusively use the probe and drogue configuration and would not have aircraft equipped for the boom and receptical method. That appears to be the case in the above pictures. These pods appear to have been attached to air to air refueling aircraft to allow them to provide for probe and drogue refueling, in addition to the boom system.
The Claim: This image shows an aircraft being modified or maintained for chemtrail spraying
The Reality: Just as mentioned above, this is a conversion adapter for a boom refueler to refuel probe and drogue aircraft. In this case, it’s a very simple addition of a drogue adapter to the existing refueling boom. This type of adapter is simple and can be quickly installed or removed. The disadvantage of this type of system over the pod system is that it does not allow the aircraft to act as both a boom and drogue refueler at the same time. By installing the adapter, the boom is no longer functional for refueling aircraft equipped for that system. Of course, this may not always be a concern, depending on the type of aircraft being supported.
The Claim: This photo shows the spraying assembly of an aircraft used to produce chemtrails. Air Force personnel admit that they exist, but say that they’re “not supposed to talk about that.”
The Reality: Well, it does show a spray assembly that is used for spraying a chemical out of an aircraft, but the only chemical it sprays is dihydrogen monoxide (water). This is actually a modified KC-135, which has had the refueling probe replaced with a sprayer that is designed to create a fine mist of water droplets. This one of a kind aircraft is known as the “KC-135 R Airborne Icing Tanker” The purpose of this aircraft is to replicate the conditions that cause ice buildup on aircraft for in flight testing. When flying through “icing conditions” an aircraft can build up a layer of ice on the wings and control surfaces. The ice can present a danger due to increased turbulence and disruption of the airfoil shape of the wings. For the military, there are additional concerns, as even a very thin layer of ice can compromise the stealth properties of low observability aircraft, even if the ice is not severe enough to endanger the aircraft’s flight profile.
The Air Force has used this aircraft to test the severity of ice buildup on various aircraft, the effects on flight and stealth and to test the effectiveness of various methods of reducing ice buildup or removing ice accumulations. The aircraft is not secret nor is its mission. Research has been used by NASA and other civilian agencies in applications related to commercial and civil aircraft icing. Reports indicate that the aircraft would be used by the FAA for research and airframe testing, but the current status is not known, as the report is several years old.
The current aircraft is not the first of this kind. It replaced an older KC-135A which had preformed similar testing until its retirement in 1996. Icing has been a concern since the earliest days of aviation and the use of an aircraft like the KC-135R Airborne Icing Tanker makes it possible to study the effects of differing conditions without having to seek out locations where these conditions exist. As the spray can be controlled and turned off, it is much safer to measure icing in this manner.
The Claim: This photo shows a large chemtrail aircraft dumping massive amounts of chemicals into the atmosphere
The Reality: It’s the Evergreen Supertanker, a uniquely modified 747-200 designed for fighting wild fires. Air drops of water and retardant on fires is a well established and highly effective technique, but many of the aircraft used for this task are quite old airframes, some going back all the way to World War II. The Tanker 910, a DC-10 based “water bomber” demonstrated the feasibility of using jet powered, passenger plane-derived aircraft for the purpose. The supertaker takes it to the next level, with twice the capacity of the Tanker 910, more than any other fire-fighting aircraft.
The aircraft is a former passenger 747, which was acquired by Evergreen International Aviation and modified for this unique mission. The aircraft has been highly successful in fighting fires in the United States and Spain. The large capacity means that fewer aircraft and fewer flights are required and that large ares can be saturated in a single pass. Due to the uniquely large capacity, Evergreen has begun to explore other applications for the Supertanker, including oil spill dispersal, chemical decontamination possibly weather modification – although this would only be a local effect, similar to cloud seeding.
The Claim: It’s a pod that releases chemicals as part of the chemtrail program
The reality: It’s a radome. Structures like this are used to cover antennas to protect them and maintain aerodynamics They’re made of materials like plastic or fiberglass, which allows radio signals to pass through relatively unimpeded. This one is on an E-6B Mercury aircraft and likely contains satellite communications antennas. The E-6 has antennas on the end of each wing and on other points on the aircraft, thus assuring a continuous connection, regardless of how the aircraft is oriented.
The Claim: These images show a chemtrail aircraft at an airport, with nozzles and other spraying equipment visible.
The Reality: It may seem a bit odd that a chemtrail aircraft would need so many different types of nozzles and sprayers, especially the ones that are apparently facing the wrong direction for discharging a spray into the atmosphere. Of course, this is not a chemtrail aircraft at all. It’s an atmospheric research aircraft and those probes and other protrusions are air samplers along with various sensors for things like particle concentration, moisture and other measurements.
The plane is actually operated by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, and its primary purpose is monitoring and measuring levels of various pollutants in the atmosphere. The plane is a Gulfstream G-1 and has been used to measure everything from CO2 levels to various aerosols. It has also flown missions in cooperation with the Argone National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Reality: This is actually a fuel dump port, and if you’re never seen one in operation during a flight, then that’s a good thing. Not all commercial aircraft have these, but they are commonly found on aircraft which are intended for long duration flights, such as trans-continental passenger service.
Aircraft which fly such routes carry thousands of gallons of fuel, thus making fuel load a significant portion of the aircraft’s weight at takeoff. For many aircraft, the maximum takeoff weight is higher than the maximum landing weight, and when carrying a full load, these aircraft may take off at a total weight higher than the weight they are certified to land at. This is not a problem if the aircraft lands at its planned destination. By the time the aircraft lands, most of the fuel on board will have been used and the reduction in weight means that the aircraft will be well within its maximum landing weight.
However, on occasion, an aircraft may be forced to abort the flight shortly after takeoff and return to the airport it had taken off from or land at another air port, much closer than had been planned. This could be because of a mechanical problem on the aircraft, such as an engine failure or a problem retracting the landing gear. It could also be due to a medical emergency on board the aircraft or because the destination airport is unable to accept the aircraft for unforeseen reasons, such as a radar system failure, a disabled aircraft on the runway or because Greenpeace is pulling a stunt on the tarmac and the entire airport has to be evacuated and everyone re-screened and all aircraft inspected due to a grotesque and astronomically expensive breach of security.
In such circumstances, the aircraft needs to reduce weight to bring it back into the safety margins for landing. Thus, the aircraft must dump fuel. It is directed to an altitude which will assure the fuel disperses before reaching the ground and to an area away from other air traffic or ground development, often out at sea and it jettisons a portion of the fuel through ports which are located away from control surfaces and engines. The enviornmental impacts are relatively low, because this is not done as a matter of routine, and most of the fuel will break down in the atmosphere relatively rapidly. Airlines obviously try to avoid having to do fuel dumps, as it’s a waste of expensive fuel.
On some occasions, a pilot may elect to dump fuel even if the aircraft does not exceed the maximum landing weight, if a non-routine and high risk landing is required. For example, if the landing gear cannot be extended, the aircraft will have to make a “belly landing.” In such circumstances, landing with the fuel tanks nearly empty reduces risk of fire. The majority of fuel would be dumped and the plane would then circle the airport to burn off the remainder of the fuel and land with just barely enough fuel to keep the engines running. Aircraft which are intended for shorter duration travel or which have a maximum take off weight similar to the maximum landing weight, such as the Boeing 757, generally do not have fuel dump systems, and therefore if it is necessary to land the aircraft with nearly empty fuel tanks, such as in the case of a landing gear failure, it may take many hours of circling to burn off fuel.
The Claim: These photos show the interior of a chemtrail sprayer aircraft including a sign clearly indicating the spray unit.
The Reality: The above photos are some of the most common ones on the internet, claiming to show an aircraft equipped to spray chemicals on the population. One might wonder why such an aircraft would have so many small tanks, roughly the size of a keg and not larger tanks. The reason is that this is not a chemtrail sprayer at all, and those tanks are full of water and serve no purpose other than to act as ballast.
The photo actually shows flight testing of a new aircraft type, in this case, the Boeing 777. The tanks of water are placed to simulate the total load and mass distribution of a fully loaded passenger aircraft. In addition to the load tanks, there are several racks of instruments used to monitor and assess the flight characteristics and systems on the aircraft. A few airline-style seats are installed to give the technicians a place to sit for take off and landing. An identical photo can be found here, with the proper description.
It’s not entirely clear what is written in the area that supposedly says “sprayer” but the ones that show a closeup of the area look very suspicious and may very well have been Photoshopped. Those units are not sprayers at all. They’re lavatory units. If you look closely at the one on the left side of the photo, you can even see the latch on the door and the little sign that says “vacant” or “occupied.”
There are other websites claiming to show the interior of chemtrail aircraft which show similar photos of aircraft flight tests. Some websites have photos of an aircraft test, also with rows of ballast tanks. This photo has also shown up on a few chemtrail websites. It shows an Airbus aircraft undergoing flight tests, it also has tanks for ballast, but in this case, the tanks look more like big milk jugs than kegs. It’s the same idea, just a different style of tank being used.
In one, workers are shown during the process of installing the tanks. The site states “Here are the accomplices to murder, on the job, operating the chemtrail spraying machine.”
The Claim: These photos show spraying equipment on aircraft used to create chemtrails.
The Reality: Of all the claims of chemtrail aircraft, this is the only one that has even the slightest shred of truth to it. (that is not to say it’s true, just that it has some truth to it.) These devices do indeed release materials into the atmosphere and they are for the purpose of weather modification, they’re just not as sinister as they’re made out to be. They’re cloud-seeders.
There has been quite a bit of debate over the effectiveness of cloud seeding. The theory behind it is that releasing particles into a can increase the rate of condensation of water vapor and create large enough droplets to trigger precipitation. Materials like salts, silver iodine and dry ice chips have been used. The theory behind this is sound, as it is well documented that sources of dust or other particles can have effects on the rate of precipitation, but evidence for cloud seeding’s effectiveness is limited. Based on current data, it appears that cloud seeding does indeed have some (relatively small) effect on precipitation, but only under very narrow circumstances and within a relatively small locality. The effects are fleeting. While seeding a cloud formation may produce results, it only does so for that formation and thus the results are fleeting.
Cloud seeding cannot produce rain from an otherwise dry sky. It can’t stop a rain storm from happening and it can’t do very much to the weather of a large region. About all it can do is attempt to cause clouds which would produce precipitation anyway to produce the precipitation a little bit sooner than they otherwise would. This could theoretically be of some use in areas of drought, by causing clouds that would otherwise pass by without producing precipitation to instead rain. Unfortunately, in practice, and if it works at all, the results are often disappointing. Another potential use is to “rain out” clouds before they reach a given location. The Chinese government did this during the 2008, and indeed the Olympics did have good weather, but this may have had more to do with luck than the cloud seeding program.
If cloud seeding has any chance at all of producing results like those claimed during the 2008 Olympics, the program has to be absolutely massive. In many cases, the need for continuous seeding precludes the use of aircraft, which would be too expensive. That’s not necessarily an issue, however, because cloud seeding is just as likely to be conducted using ground-based seeding methods, like flare-based seed generators or modified anti-aircraft guns.
Occasionally local governments hire private cloud seeders. Ski resorts and large agricultural operations also have hired cloud seeders. Whether this is actually a worthwhile investment is questionable.
Conclusion: To a paranoid mind, all things seem suspicious and sinister. None of these photographs actually are.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 4:06 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Conspiracy Theories, Good Science, Just LAME, media, Not Even Wrong, Obfuscation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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