Ice protection systems 718

Ice on a plane can be dangerous and can sometimes prove to be fatal if it gets into a planes major components or windscreen hence there is need for ice protection. To get rid of this ice there are a couple of ways :-

Fluid ice protection system – It works by forming a glycol film base depressing the freezing point over the surfaces to be protected

De-icing/anti-icing mode – Use a base of alcohol fluid which melts ice on screen.

Windscreen protection

  1. Electrical heating ice protection – Used to de-ice heat from the windscreen by use of electrical energy .
  2. Cabin air for demisting – Channels cabin air to the windcreen inorder to demist it
  3. Windscreen wipers/ windscreen washers – Used together just like in a car to remove ice.
  4. Rain repellant – Uses a couple of things like chemicals, alcohol and silicone to protect the screen and repel rain.
  5. Fluid spray ice protection – Just as above.

Propeller protection – uses electrical heating of propeller by overshoes.

Ice Detection

There are many ways ice can be detected in an aeroplane :-

  1. Human eye – This is detection by pilots eye to ice on windscreen
  2. Teddington ice detector -It is a protruding aerofoil shaped detector in the airflow which is visible from the cockpit. it includes a heater element and also a light to illuminate the mast at night.
  3. English electric/ napier ice detector – It is a mechanically operated accretion type of detector.
  4. smiths ice detector – Detector consist of a hollow tube on top of the airflow which has drilled holes in the leading and trailing faces.
  5. Beta particle ice detector – This detector has no moving parts but has two probes emitter & detector.
  6. Rosemount ice detector – Just like napier ice detector its also a mechanically operated accretion type of detector.
  7. Sangamo weston ice detector – Its an inferential type of detector. it’s comprised of a thermal switch, moisture sensing head and moisture detector controller.

N.B – There are two types of ice detector as shown above

  • Accretion type detector
  • Inferential type detector

systems and components needing ice protection

  1. Engine air intakes
  2. Compressor inlet guide vanes
  3. Wing leading edges
  4. Slats
  5. Fin leading edge
  6. Tail plane leading edges
  7. Propellor
  8. Wastewater outlets
  9. Pitot heads
  10. Alpha probes
  11. Cockpit windows

De -icing/ anti-icing difference

De icing is where ice is allowed to accumulate prior to be removed while anti-icing is where object prevent ice from forming.

ice protection methods

  1. Mechanical ice protection – They use expanding rubber boots to protect the plane from ice
  • De-icing boots  – Found on leading edge flaps & slats also known as overshoes and is used mostly on turbo prop. They are pneumatically inflated.
  1. Thermal ice protection – This is protection by heat being supplied by electricity, engine oil or hot air
  2. Liquid ice protection – This uses freezing point depressant fluids.



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