Airframe Icing and Loss of Control In-flight — More than just a weight issue


Airframe icing and its affect on an aircraft is a complex issue.  Icing adds weight to the aircraft and alters the characteristics of the airfoil.  To prevent or remove airfoil icing, anti-ice and de-ice systems are employed.  These systems, however, are not capable of resolving the problem in all icing conditions.  Severe icing conditions can rapidly outpace even the best de-icing and anti-icing systems.  As ice accumulates on the airfoil, dramatic changes in performance are manifested, including a reduction in the coefficient of lift generated at a given angle of attack and a reduction in the critical angle of attack (at which an aerodynamic stall occurs).

A paper addressing this topic, co-written by Paul “BJ” Ransbury and David Carroll, was presented on 15 January at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Modeling and Simulation Technology conference.  This prestigious event was held at National Harbor, Maryland on 13-17 January 2014.  You can find the paper, as well as a summary of the presentation, at the links below.

The paper:  Air Frame Icing Influences on the Risk of Loss of Control In-flight

The presentation:  AIAA Briefing on Main Wing Icing Stall and Upset Recovery

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