An international field research campaign led by Airbus and NASA has gathered a wealth of data on icing conditions in convective weather, especially on ice crystals that cause engine icing. The eight-week effort ended in March in Darwin, Australia, and the researchers expect to publish their report early next year. The partners in the project hope to gain a better understanding of icing conditions that will allow them to devise mathematical models for equipment manufacturers to use when designing detection systems.
Safe Flight Instrument (Booth 5251) introduced at EBACE 2014 its new Icing Conditions Detector (ICD). The patented optical ICD provides an alert that icing conditions exist before ice can accrete on the aircraft. Comprised of a single line replaceable unit, the system is ideal for operations in all modes of flight, according to Safe Flight.
Safe Flight Instrument introduced its new Icing Conditions Detector (ICD) today at EBACE. The patented optical ICD provides an alert that icing conditions exist before ice can accrete on the aircraft. Composed of a single line-replaceable unit, the system is intended for operation in all modes of flight, according to Safe Flight. The system, currently under evaluation in a variety of airframe types, provides an instantaneous warning when icing conditions are present before ice accretion has an opportunity to reduce aircraft performance and controllability.
Over the last 20 years, the aviation industry has documented more than 200 incidents in which turbofans have lost power during high-altitude flights, according to NASA.
Canadian helicopter accessory provider Dart Aerospace (Booth No. 6814) announced that in cooperation with Pall Aerospace it has installed and flight-tested the PA100 PureAir engine protection system developed for the Airbus Helicopters AS350 and EC130 family of rotorcraft. The system features Pall’s latest PureAir technology and is self-cleaning and virtually maintenance free, according to the manufacturers.
Safe Flight (Booth No. 2516) introduced its upgraded digital powerline detection system (DPDS) and provided an update about ongoing development of its icing conditions detector (ICD) at Heli-Expo 2014.
The DPDS adds a digital signal processor to Safe Flight’s previous analog system, allowing the detection of both 60Hz and 50Hz frequencies produced by power lines around the world. Safe Flight director of government and military sales Greg Hilewitz noted testing on an AS355 showed the DPDS detected a 22,000-volt line at more than one statute mile distant.
Brazil’s Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) has approved CenTex Aerospace’s Halo 250 conversion for the Beechcraft King Air 200 series. It allows any King Air 200 to carry up to 920 pounds more payload by increasing the maximum takeoff weight to 13,420 pounds from 12,500 pounds. A new Airplane Flight Manual supplement has performance data for takeoff flight path to 1,500 feet agl and the landing approach flight path in normal and icing conditions.
Current in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS) cannot detect ice crystals. But equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace (Booth E07) is developing a new FIDS, using optical techniques. It will detect any form of icing and will be able to tell which form of ice–small or large supercooled droplets, crystal and so forth–is impacting the aircraft. It will give the crew specific warnings when large-droplet icing conditions or ice crystals are encountered, François Larue, head of research and technology of Zodiac’s Aircraft Systems division, told AIN.
The FAA is reissuing and revising a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R4) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight into icing conditions.
Even as researchers study ways to improve detection of in-flight icing and make airframes and engines more resistant to icing conditions, they continue to struggle to understand the icing phenomenon–especially the formation of ice crystals–according to speakers at a conference on the subject organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne, Germany recently. Ice-prevention techniques present their own challenges, which aircraft makers, airports and ground handlers are endeavoring to solve.
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