Embraer and Collins Aerospace are partnering on the development of a carbon nanotube electrothermal heating technology (CNT) for ice protection systems that aim to improve efficiency and sustainability. The system, including Collins’ CNT heater and ice protection controller, was installed on the vertical stabilizer of Embraer’s Phenom 300E prototype and has completed more than 10 hours of ground and “dry air” flight tests.
“We are very encouraged by the recent test results, and we are convinced that this innovative technology will meet our ambitious technological and sustainability roadmap,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, the senior v-p of engineering, technology development, and corporate strategy at Embraer.
Part of a larger more electric aircraft technology development initiative, the CNT does not require the chemical etching process typically used for heaters, lowers the energy requirement by 25 percent, is significantly lighter than a conventional metallic heater, has enhanced damage tolerance, and is anticipated to result in a longer product life cycle.
“This electrothermal CNT technology is more energy efficient, lighter, and uses greener manufacturing processes than current systems, and we believe it will become the future standard for ice protection—including those in more electric aircraft designs,” said Mauro Atalla, the senior v-p of engineering, and technology for Collins Aerospace. “Collaborations such as the one between Collins and Embraer are helping innovations like this come to market more quickly.”