The Importance of Having Aircraft Ice Protection

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of walking to our cars on a cold winter morning, only to find the windshield has iced over –leaving us forced to scrape off as much as we can until we have enough visibility.  It’s extremely dangerous to try to operate your vehicle in that condition, so imagine the dangers present when attempting to fly an aircraft with an icy windshield. 

  • Low Visibility— Just like with your car, reduced visibility on an aircraft can lead to devastating consequences for the crew and occupants. 
  • Additional Weight— Ice adds a significant amount of weight to an already heavy aircraft.  Planes have specific weight allowances and any deviation can throw off the balance point (the center of gravity), therefore compromising the structural strength and integrity of the aircraft.
  • Decrease in Performance— Additional weight combined with low visibility can lead to a major decrease in the performance of the aircraft.  Reduced lift of about 30 percent and increased drag of 40 percent is a common occurrence after even a thin layer of ice is present.

There are three different types of de-icing systems that are commonly found on aircraft: structural, engine inlet, and fuel system.  Structural refers to anything on the outside of the aircraft – predominately the nose, wings, tail, and windshield.  If ice is found on these elements, it can lead to alteration of the aircraft’s aerodynamics, causing a decrease in performance mentioned previously. Three common types of de-icing systems used for the structural part of the aircraft include thermal anti-ice systems, pneumatic boots, and weeping wing systems.

The engine inlet duct and cowl typically use bleed air to prevent ice formation, but some use electrical resistance heaters, ducted exhaust heat, or pneumatic boots.  To keep the fuel system from freezing, many aircraft have devices which help the fuel to maintain a specific temperature, allowing the pilot to keep a close watch on the temperature level during flight.  There are several devices that can be used to keep the fuel temperature constant, but the common ones are: bleed air, electrical resistance heaters, and waste heat.

ASAP Fulfillment, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is an online distributor of aircraft deicing system parts.  With a continuously increasing inventory, you can be sure ASAP Fulfillment will have everything you need and more.  ASAP Fulfillment is known for finding cost-effective solutions for hard-to-find aircraft de-icer parts. We will ensure all needs are addressed in a timely and professional manner.  For a quote, reach out to the main office by phone: +1-480-504-1299 or by email: sales@asapfulfillment.com



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