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How is the risk of tribocharging (static electricity generation) by the propeller managed on an airplane? Regardless of airplane size, it seems the rotation of the propeller or engine blades could cause tribocharging somewhere in the electrical system, and that charge would have to be grounded or dissipated somehow.

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While these might not be specifically for static from the prop, static dischargers help bleed charge away from the aircraft. Static definitely does build up on an airframe, requiring grounding (electrically) your plane before fueling.

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  • $\begingroup$ I liked this answer the most, due to specifically naming the devices (static dischargers), and the reference back to my question (static on the airframe). Thank you for the helpful answer! $\endgroup$ – AaronJPung Aug 28 '17 at 19:04
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Infinitesimal risk, Faraday field (added copper coating for insulant composite material modern airplanes) protect, and devices such as these dissipate static electricity.

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Near as I know it's not a big risk. The prop is grounded to the airframe via the engine and all static charges are dissipated via static wicks or similar devices. Grounding and electrical bonding is covered under 14 CFR §23.867 and OEM structural repair manuals.

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  • $\begingroup$ Static charge is a minor risk compared to lightning strikes. Static wicks help in both cases. The biggest effect of static buildup is on the ADF where it can cause erratic bearing swings. While there is some static built up from props, the biggest source is precipitation (rain) moving over the skin which is referred to as P-static. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Aug 25 '17 at 18:15

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