What Are Ice Protection Systems?

Before flight and after takeoff, it is imperative that all aircraft undergo appropriate anti-icing and deicing measures to circumvent the buildup of ice when exposed to freezing temperatures. As certain aircraft are predisposed to accumulating more ice than others due to their shape and operational factors, certain items composing an aircraft require additional attention to detail upon construction to mitigate complications caused by ice accumulation. As ice can rapidly form on all areas of an aircraft, including the engines, ice protection systems are critical for the following systems of an aircraft: wings and aerofoils, power plants, high lift devices, control systems, and ice protection systems. Within this blog, we will discuss the fundamentals behind the basic operations of deicing and anti-icing systems and why they are crucial to ensuring passenger safety and vehicle stability.

Implemented to be used when in flight, deicing systems aid in removing ice after it has been formed on an aircraft. Attributing to lower energy consumption and various means of distributing energy to an area in need of deicing, deicing systems require little energy from the aircraft to operate. As a result, these systems prove especially beneficial for aircraft with limited power distribution. Common deicing equipment includes inflatable pneumatic deicing boots for inboard, mid, and outboard sections of an aircraft's wings and tailplane, as well as fluid deicing, and ground deicing systems.

Unlike deicing systems, anti-icing systems are used on an aircraft before takeoff or before icing conditions occur. However, they can also function as a deicing system when necessary. Often used for aircraft that are not equipped with or are incapable of producing excess energy for deicing, anti-icing systems aid in preventing ice from forming on a vehicle during the duration of a flight. As anti-icing measures require even distribution when applied to an aircraft, such systems can be designed as thermal anti-ice systems with the aid of airfoils, weeping-wing designs, windscreens, propeller anti-ice boots, and various alternatives. While turbine-powered aircraft often use bleed air as a form of anti-icing measure, piston powered aircraft often utilize electrical power to produce heat.

Without the addition of ice protection systems, aircraft are susceptible to increased weight, drag, decreased lift, decreased thrust, and engine damage from improper airflow. Despite anti-ice and deicing systems having the ability to reduce ice accumulations, as aircraft are continually exposed to below freezing temperatures when flying at cruising altitudes up to 36,000 feet, it is inevitable that there will always be accretions that continually form. Due to this, deicing systems may be required to be continuously employed in order to mitigate the collection of ice. Alongside continuous employment, items such as deicing boots are prone to defects like blow holes which are caused by an accumulation of static electricity. As anti-icing and deicing measures are not built to sustain long periods of flight accompanied by consistent ice accumulation, it is imperative that all equipment be inspected before flight to ensure everything is properly functioning.

In order to keep aircraft flying safely, deicing and anti-icing systems need to be periodically maintained to ensure all systems remain in working order. To fulfill all your requirements and needs for aircraft ice protection systems, look no further than Aviation Sphere. We are your trusted source for numerous aircraft deicing systems, anti-icing kits, deicing control units, deicing brushes, and various other ice protection systems and their components. Due to our quality control and export compliance, we operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation. If you would like to request a quote for your comparisons, you can submit an RFQ form as provided on our website. Upon receipt, a dedicated account manager will quickly review and respond with a personalized solution to your needs in just 15 minutes or less, 24/7x365.


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