Watching this Video of a L-1011, I noticed an orange/brown object on the back of the jet-engine pylons I never saw before.

  • What is it?
  • What's the purpose of it?

L-1011 Jet Engine pylons

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It looks like a simple infrared jammer as in this image, but seems strange on an airline $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Nov 17, 2014 at 11:48
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @ManuH maybe a former military craft that never had the thing refitted $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 12:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great catch! I don't know if I'd have ever noticed it. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Nov 17, 2014 at 12:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Probably "rachet freak" is right, the 747 seen later in the video doesn't have one fitted. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 14:13

2 Answers 2


Manu H is right. It is an IR jammer device. Saudi (corrected from the comment of David Richerby:)Royal Flight airliners tend to have them (root of the wing, next to the light)...

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That is one of the nicest SP photos that I've ever seen! I just sat there staring at it for a few minutes... the angle and zoom really emphasize the muscular attributes of the 747 fuselage. Magnificent! $\endgroup$
    – dotancohen
    Nov 17, 2014 at 15:58
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ The photo you link to is a 747SP that's part of the Saudi Royal Flight so might be expected to have more defensive equipment attached than your average airliner. For example, this Saudia 747 doesn't seem to have jammers at the wing root; likewise, this Saudia freighter. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ @David Richerby, you're right I also recognized that, so the Mistery remains. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 8:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Now I see, the Royals used a L-1011 before they bought the 747SP. I always thought that what I saw in the video was a commercial aircraft. airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/… $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby you linked twice the same photo $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Nov 18, 2014 at 11:25

I think this is an infrared counter-measure device, i.e. a device intended to protect aircraft from "heat seeking" missiles. Saudi no doubt flies to some potentially dangerous spots in the Middle East. See this article.


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