787 Wing Ice System Testing To Begin
Flight-testing of the Boeing 787 electro-thermal wing ice-protection system, jointly devised by Boeing, GKN Aerospace and Ultra Electronics, is to begin following completion of ground trials in the Boeing research aircraft-icing tunnel. Used for the first time in a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness-approval procedure, ground simulation is said to reduce flight-trial requirements and should contribute to certification expected in time for 787 services to begin in May or June 2008. It is the first such system to be certificated for a civil airliner and the process permitted a more extensive, monitored trial. In the absence of hot bleed air from the engines, the 787 uses electrically heated composites anti- and de-icing mats each monitored by an Ultra controller that enables heat to be applied very locally. Maintenance also is claimed to be reduced.