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Airplanes And Ice: The Mortal Enemy

Over the past several days we have watched a giant winter storm trek its way defiantly across the country, wreaking havoc on airports from Dallas to New York City. As most airplanes sit dormant, caked in ice and snow, others manage to escape after a thorough de-icing bath. Either way, the storm has left thousands stranded and wondering why, perhaps, they’re stuck at the airport. ( 更多...

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donald kiel 2
That video is a good example of what not to do if you are still in icing conditions. Notice the portions that weren't de-iced even after the second activation. You need to let the ice build up til it's thicker and then activate the boots--and POOF, all the ice is gone. If you don't do that new ice builds up on the left over ice and when you activate the boots they just flex under the leftover ice. THEN YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!! You need to let it build up thicker, then when activated it breaks off better. The other problem with the "video ice" is that it appears as it is impact ice, which is tougher to break off as it's not as brittle as clear or rime ice. How do I know-I flew for 10 years with "boot" equipped airplanes in the upper Midwest and the U.P. along Lake Superior.
Jpliego 1
I appreciate the video, thanks for posting.

As a lineman that takes care of the boots and washes the a/c after they're de-iced. It's cool to see how important my role is in keeping the boots shiny and how deice works.
sparkie624 1
Working this type of equipment, the boots do a good job of keeping ice off the wing. Keep in mind that this is not ice prevention, but ice removal. A certain amount must build up before it can be removed. A hot wing such as the Boeing 737 has hot leading edge which actually prevent ice build up from ever starting. Most Turbo Props due to having less bleed air available use the inflatable boots and most Turbo Fan engines with much more air available use the hot air for preventing the ice.


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