Using Friction to Generate Electric Power in Aircraft – A Spiritual Insight


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There is something called Precipitation-Static Energy (P-Static Energy) [1] that occurs on the surface of an aircraft due to atmospheric conditions, i.e. during a thunderstorm, and via friction (triboelectric charging) caused by neutral snow, rain, or dust particle bombardment of the front surface of the vehicle. These things are the charging mechanism that lead to p-static interference. What occurs on the surface of an aircraft is a charge redistribution due to (i) corona discharges on sharp edges, (ii) streamer discharges on dielectric surfaces, and (iii) arcing between electrically isolated or intermittently grounded metallic sections. The research paper [1] and patents [2] lay out this concept to utilized the p-static charge by harvesting the energy and use the energy to generate local electric power for the aircraft. The Charge that is generated on the surface of the aircraft is stored in a high voltage rechargeable capacitor which is then converted to low voltage DC or AC power and used to power electronic components on the aircraft. [2] The triboelectric effect (charging) is a type of contact electrification of which certain materials generate electric charge after rubbing and separation. One can imagine this by rubbing glass with fur, or rubbing a balloon on one’s head to generate charge so the balloon will stick to the wall. The polarity and strength of the charges differ based on the materials, surface roughness, temperature, strain, and other properties. The materials that can acquire a significant charge when rubbed together include glass and silk, or rubber and fur, etc. It is believed the triboelectric effect is related to the phenomenon of adhesion where two materials composed of different molecules tend to stick together because of attraction between the molecules. There may be a transfer of electrons that lead to electrostatic attraction. In the year 1757 Johan Carl Wilcke published the first paper on triboelectric series on static charges. [3] The materials are listed in order of polarity of charge separation when they touch one another. The etymology of the word triboelectric, the tribo is from the Greek word for “rubbing”, τρίβω (τριβή: friction). When two materials come into contact, electrons are exchanged. After coming into contact, a chemical bond is formed between parts of the two surfaces, called adhesion, and charges move from one material to the other to equalize their electrochemical potential. This is what is believed to create the net charge imbalance between the objects. When separated, some of the atoms have a tendency to hold onto the extra electrons, and some have a tendency to give them away, though the imbalance will be partially destroyed by tunneling or electrical breakdown (i.e. corona discharge). In addition to this, some materials may exchange ions of differing mobility, or actually exchange charged fragments of larger molecules.


  1. Thornell, J., “Precipitation-Static (P-Static) Overview of Composite Aircraft,” SAE Technical Paper 2001-01-2933, 2001, DOI:
  2. P-static energy source for an aircraft, US7592783B1, USA, 2007,
  3. Gillispie CC (1976). Dictionary of Scientific Biography. New York: Scribner. pp. 352–353.

In the concept of the electric charges that are generated through triboelectric charging (friction) on an aircraft, these may develop corona and streamering at the aircraft extremities and do not trigger lightning. Aircraft such as the B-2 Bomber having a very large effective area is vulnerable to static charging. If the surface of the B-2 aircraft is not properly optimized, significant surface static discharge damage may result. Based upon this information, many things must be considered in aeronautical design as opposed to simply the fluid mechanics of providing lift for the aircraft. There is also the materials development from the sense of insulators, static free materials, and conductors and how these work together to prevent damage due to p-static discharge. Through this type of research, it was discovered that materials with surface resistivities of greater than 10^12 ohm/square meter are likely to develop electrostatic charges which will not bleed off by themselves due to the high electrical insulating property of the surface. As a result, a whole field of research was developed for studying the static dissipative composites that are most suited for aircraft design. Composites are composed of conductive material such as carbon or metallic particles which are evenly distributed in a non-conductive (insulating) medium. The composite material is designed such that there is an optimum amount of electrical resistivity/conductivity per volume. The science of these functional materials is then coupled to the idea of harnessing the frictional energy generated and stored for use locally on the aircraft. In the ideal situation, batteries will be necessary for frictionless periods such as during takeoff and landing.

The Spiritual insights that we receive from this type of research is related to friction and energy generated in our lives as believers in the God of Israel and in Yeshua the Messiah. The friction is analogized to the difficulties of life that we must live through, and by doing so, and maintaining our faith, we grow spiritually in wisdom, knowledge, and practice. One of the struggles in life and faith is when personal difficulty, suffering, stress, and tension leads to exhaustion, tears, and pain in our lives. How do live our our faith by acknowledging that the Lord will protect, heal, and lift us up, while at the same time realizing in this present hour we must endure suffering? The Torah tell us how on the last day of Moshe’s life the Lord God of Israel said to him, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. This people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them” (Devarim / Deuteronomy 31:16). The Lord told Moshe, “‘Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘ Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ ‘But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.” (Devarim / Deuteronomy 31:17-18). What we read concerning God’s presence, the Torah describes the terrifying prospect of the withdrawal of the Divine presence of God from His people due to their sins. The idea is both sin and selfishness cause the presence of God to be removed because these things cause us to be removed from Him. The Torah describes how life and relationship works, it is a reciprocal relationship, selfishness turns from God, and as a result turns us from God’s presence. For the most part, this truth has been left out of the Gospel Message today as when presented, one provides a “sales pitch” so to speak. One of the things about modern evangelism is the making of the Gospel message attractive, as attractive as possible in fact, by minimizing the difficulties involved when one makes a genuine decision to walk with the Messiah! Note how this kind of evangelistic appeal is one sided saying Yeshua is the answer to all of life’s problems, to happiness, the solution to our worries, or of a blessing of a life of love, etc. For example, sometimes the evangelist states that God will bless you and you will find happiness and contentment at last! The difficulty with this one sided approach is found in what the Scriptures say at the end of Devarim / Deuteronomy, and in the words that God spoke to Moshe concerning the people and the stern warning being made in relation to giving in to the flesh, following idols, and disobeying God’s commands, etc. Yeshua over and over again stated the cost of discipleship and warned of being hated for his sake. Yeshua said, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard (i.e., τεθλιμμένη, “oppressive”) that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14) People tend to blame God for His absence but forget, or do not know, that God hides his face from those who pursue selfish desire over all other things. This is analogous to “whoring after other gods” as there is no idol greater than the person who indulges in selfishness, self exaltation, self worship, and the continual return to self above all others. This type of attitude leads to all sorts of physical and psycho-emotional issues. The Torah gives us this description on the penalty of disobedience.  As a result, many men have turned from the Torah with the presumption that God does not do these things any longer, He is now only involved in grace! Let’s look at the following scripture to see what the Torah has to say:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 32:20-44
20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. 21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. 22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. 23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them. 24 They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. 25 The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs. 26 I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: 27 Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely, and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord hath not done all this. 28 For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. 29 O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up? 31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. 32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: 33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. 34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures? 35 To me belongeth vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. 36 For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. 37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, 38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. 39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. 40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever. 41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. 42 I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. 43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. 44 And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun. (KJV)

Notice how the Lord God turns from His people due to their sins, and from the person who indulges in selfishness, self exaltation, self worship, and the continual return to self above all others. Note the descriptions of God here, He will heap mischiefs upon them (32:23), He will send His arrows upon them (32:23), God will send beasts, poison, and dust upon them (32:24), and the Lord says it is to Him that belongs vengeance and recompense (32:35). God says that He wets his glittering sword (32:41) and makes His arrows drunk with blood (32:42) and his sword will devour flesh and the blood of the slain (32:42). A modern example, in light of what we see going on today with the Coronavirus (Covid-19), I have read some say this disease can’t be from God or “isn’t” from God! In this perverse and desperately wicked generation (i.e. LGBT), why is it so difficult to believe this world wide pandemic could not be from the hand of God as we are in the last days before the return of the Messiah Yeshua?

Note however, there is a redemptive side to all of this! In the Scriptures we read how God turns away in order to afflict us so that we understand our need to return to Him! What we are experiencing today is a wake up call to return to the Lord, to seek His face, and live our lives according to His Word and calling! The Psalmist wrote in Tehillim / Psalms 119:71 “It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statues.” The sense of the presence of God can actually be a gift that helps us seek His presence in our lives as James wrote saying, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) Paul wrote that Godly sorrow brings repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), this leads to life because of what the Torah states regarding God’s word, we are to walk in His Ways! In Yeshua the Messiah, by faith, receiving the Holy Spirit of God, this becomes possible for each and every one of us!

When Yeshua obtained victory upon the cross, this did not mean we would never undergo a purging process (i.e. a refiner’s fire). We celebrate the victory of Christ and the redemption that He provides! We also must endure our sanctification, in the sense that we do not fully know why we undergo suffering. One answer could be we simply go through various tests in life in order to grow spiritually, or the disposition that is being described in the Torah in relation to pride, selfishness, and arrogance? The Torah eliminates some of the ambiguity that we find in the midst of trials. We may temporally need to endure, but we have a blessed hope with an expectation of the future glory we will have in Yeshua the Messiah that God has prepared for us. The question is whether we will trust in God in the midst of our pain and suffering, submit to His will, and live our lives according to His Word, or will we “curse God and die” losing hope and despairing on every nuance in life? Remember how faith sees the unseen, and believes in the day of redemption! Know this, the God of Israel and His Messiah does not endorse sin! We are responsible for our sins regardless of the underlying reasons. The failure to communicate this truth about repentance and trusting in God’s Messiah, leads to not believing the Gospel Message. We are told those who live godly lives will suffer persecution (see 2 Timothy 3:12). When we share the message of Yeshua, this message of salvation, redemption, and powerful deliverance of God, we do not have to apologize for the truth! We must however be careful to speak the truth in humility and love (see Ephesians 4:15). Yeshua warned there would be moral depravity before the time of His return saying “lawlessness will be increased” and that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). There is a link between the Torah and love. The Love of God requires respect for God’s authority over our lives. Paul wrote “the end of days would be marked by times of peril” because people would be increasingly self absorbed, infatuated with self importance, and narcissistic, ungrateful, heartless, unforgiving, disrespectful, without self control, brutal, treacherous, etc (see 2 Timothy 3:1-4). So the world basically rages around us, therefore we must remain firm in the faith, rooted in the Word of God and in the Messiah holding on to our identity as the children of God! The scientific research in using friction to generate electric charge draws out these things in our lives, as we go through life as believers, our faith causes friction with this world no matter where we go, and in everything we do! We however must not sleep, we must be sober, diligent, and awake, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of salvation. (Ephesians 6) Remember, God has not destined us for wrath but for deliverance, for redemption, and for salvation in His Son Yeshua the Messiah! (1 Thessalonians 5:6-9) There is power in the Name of Yeshua, and we are told that we have been given power and love, healing, and life, and we are not to be troubled by the world or live in terror of men! We look to the God of Israel, the Master of the Universe, for He alone is our Refuge and our Defense, the one who gives us steadfast love in the midst of our enemies and the storms that come our way!