One of the most dangerous things that can happen to your aircraft is icing. The frozen water and sleet that form on the exterior of your aircraft can be disastrous, so it’s crucial to use de-icing equipment and know which equipment you should use. Pneumatic de-ice boots, weeping wings, bleed air heated surfaces, electrically heated surfaces, and electro-mechanical expulsion is all helpful tools in de-icing your aircraft.
De-ice boots have endless protection against icing. These can be both manual and automatic. The downsides, however, include stalling speed when used; the risk of ice forming behind the boot which cannot be removed, and the risk of not inflating if holes form.
Weeping wings protect the entire surface of the airfoil. TKS fluid is used to form a layer protecting against ice formation. Unless refilled, TKS fluid will eventually run out and a backup plan needs to be established for when this inevitably happens.
When the engine is running, bleed air is hot enough to prevent ice formation. However, if the system is not turned on in time, runback can freeze protected surfaces and ice chunks may break off and get caught in the engine.
Some surfaces are provided with an anti- and de-ice protections. These electrically heated surfaces can always be relied on unless there is an electric failure. Unfortunately, there is the inability to heat larger surface areas. Surfaces that are electrically heated can also be damaged if the heating device remains on during ground operations.
Electro-Mechanical Expulsion uses a sensor to detect ice. When sensed, coils vibrate, and the ice falls off. This method does not require much power in order to operate. However, this is currently only used on smaller aircraft. This method is not applicable to all surfaces of the aircraft.
Regardless of what de-icing equipment you choose, it’s important to remember to schedule regular inspections, maintenance, and repair. Your de-icing equipment is only useful if it still works in good condition. Fortunately, if you need parts and spares for your aircraft or aircraft de-icing equipment, you have us at Aerospace Simplified.
Aerospace Simplified, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a leading supplier of new, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts for the aerospace and aviation industries. With everything from engine turbines to de-icing boots, we can help you with all your procurement needs. Just visit us at www.aerospacesimiplified.com to get started on a quote.