AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, AND FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

What Are Aircraft Ice Control & Ice Detector Systems?

Rain, snow, and ice create dangerous conditions for the majority of vehicles. Airplanes in particular are impacted by icy conditions because when there is moisture in the air, along with freezing temperatures, ice can quickly build on airfoils, air inlets, and leading edge surfaces. Water droplets in the air are supercooled to below freezing temperatures, and when the surfaces of an aircraft disturb these droplets, they turn to ice. To learn more about aircraft ice control and detector systems, read through the following blog.

There are two different types of ice that aircraft encounter during their flight: clear and rime ice. To start, clear ice is hard, heavy, and tenacious because it comes from rain or cumuliform clouds, making its removal by deicing equipment particularly challenging. Clear ice forms when water flows out over the aircraft surface, causing it to gradually freeze incontto a smooth sheet of solid ice. On the other hand, rime ice is formed from smaller water droplets like those found in stratified clouds or light drizzling. These raindrops do not have time to spread over the aircraft surface once they reach it, and they instead rapidly freeze and trap air inside, giving the ice a white appearance. Despite its lighter weight, rime ice forms into an irregular shape and has a rough texture, causing the airfoils of the aircraft to lose some of their aerodynamic efficiency by increasing drag and decreasing lift. Rime ice is brittle and simpler to remove with deicing equipment than clear ice.

Often, liquid drops vary in size or intermingle with snow or ice particles, causing clear and rime icing to mix. When this happens, ice particles embed themselves into clear ice, forming a rough accumulation on the leading edges of the aircraft. The surface of the plane is expected to form ice whenever there is visible moisture in the air and the temperature is close to or below freezing. Ice or frost formation on an aircraft can create serious hazards; as explained above, ice formation can cause the airfoil to decrease the amount of lift it produces. Additionally, the extra weight that unevenly formed ice adds to an aircraft could possibly cause it to lose its balance, making it difficult to control. These dangerous conditions can quickly cause unsafe flight conditions, so it is necessary for aircraft to have some sort of ice prevention and removal method.

Aside from the downsides discussed above, ice buildup on an aircraft causes destructive vibration, prevents instruments from making accurate readings, and hampers radio reception and engine performance. When chunks break off of the aircraft, engine failure and structural damage are a risk as a result of foreign object damage (FOD) as ice falls into the engine. If ice or snow were to break off of the wings during takeoff and fall into the engine, the vehicle will experience a surge, vibration, and complete thrust loss. Moreover, the increased drag will cause excess fuel consumption which makes it difficult to maintain speed.

To keep ice from forming on leading edges, horizontal and vertical stabilizer leading edges, among other pertinent aircraft components, ice and rain protection systems are installed. Ice detector systems feature sensors that are able to warn the flight crew of icing conditions, and in some systems, anti-ice systems are automatically activated. Ice prevention systems control ice formation in a number of ways, including using hot air to warm surfaces, heating with electrical elements, breaking up ice formations with inflatable boots, and using chemical application. This type of anti-icing equipment is activated before entering icing conditions, while deicing equipment removes ice once it has been accumulated.

Those in the market for durable anti-icing and de-icing equipment for aircraft should look no further than National Stock Number Parts, where we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accreditation. We have more than 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts available for your immediate purchase, many of which are subject to rigorous quality control measures. Those with time restrictions can count on us to expedite shipping times for both domestic and international customers since we have a supply network that stretches across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Fill out an RFQ form to commence the parts procurement process with a partner you can trust.


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