Toll Free Order Line: 1-866-247-4568
Welcome to iPilot, please Sign In or Register




New technology could eliminate airframe icing


Imagine flying through clouds for hours on end up the middle of a winter cold front, an never having to flip on the de-ice switch or worry about clear ice building up behind the leading edges of the wings. A group of researchers at Harvard say they’ve found a way to treat metal surfaces to make them impervious to ice buildup. The two-stage technique first involves applying a thin, porous nanostructure coating to existing metal surfaces, like a wing or vertical stabilizer. Next, a liquid lubricant coats that surface, filling in every imperfection and creating a totally smooth surface as it solidifies. Any ice that forms on a vertical surface immediately falls off, since there are no molecular valleys or peaks to which the ice can adhere. The slightest force – like propwash – makes ice slide off horizontal surfaces as well. Unlike current de-icing technologies, which protect only critical flight surfaces, this coating could be applied to the entire wing and fuselage of a plane. So far, the coating has only been tested in lab settings.