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.
- Electrical heating ice protection – Used to de-ice heat from the windscreen by use of electrical energy .
- Cabin air for demisting – Channels cabin air to the windcreen inorder to demist it
- Windscreen wipers/ windscreen washers – Used together just like in a car to remove ice.
- Rain repellant – Uses a couple of things like chemicals, alcohol and silicone to protect the screen and repel rain.
- Fluid spray ice protection – Just as above.
Propeller protection – uses electrical heating of propeller by overshoes.
There are many ways ice can be detected in an aeroplane :-
- Human eye – This is detection by pilots eye to ice on windscreen
- 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.
- English electric/ napier ice detector – It is a mechanically operated accretion type of detector.
- smiths ice detector – Detector consist of a hollow tube on top of the airflow which has drilled holes in the leading and trailing faces.
- Beta particle ice detector – This detector has no moving parts but has two probes emitter & detector.
- Rosemount ice detector – Just like napier ice detector its also a mechanically operated accretion type of detector.
- 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
- Engine air intakes
- Compressor inlet guide vanes
- Wing leading edges
- Fin leading edge
- Tail plane leading edges
- Wastewater outlets
- Pitot heads
- Alpha probes
- 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
- 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.
- Thermal ice protection – This is protection by heat being supplied by electricity, engine oil or hot air
- Liquid ice protection – This uses freezing point depressant fluids.