For Release: July 26, 2001
Media Relations Office
Dennis M. Phillips
Cox & Company, Inc.
Icing's Nemesis - A New Aircraft Ice-Protection System
For the first time in forty years, a new aircraft ice protection system has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for use on a new business jet. The NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, supported the development of the ice protection system through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding program and through technical and testing support of researchers at Glenn.
The ice protection system, built by Cox & Company, Inc., New York, NY, is a hybrid that uses both thermal anti-icing and mechanical deicing to keep airfoils (wings and other lifting surfaces) clear of ice. The anti-icing part of the system heats the leading (or front) edge of the airfoil, preventing any ice from forming there. Past the heated leading edge, the mechanical deicing part periodically deflects the wing skin to break and remove any ice that forms there. The mechanical deicer is a new ice removal technology called EMEDS (Electro-Mechanical Expulsion Deicing System). Together, the two parts form an ice protection system well suited for airfoil leading edges where ice contamination can degrade aerodynamic abilities. The system uses much less energy than other systems that provide equivalent protection.
"Their idea to combine two ice protection schemes was particularly innovative," said Andrew Reehorst, an icing research engineer at Glenn. "For us, the FAA approval culminates 20 years of NASA efforts to foster the development of a practical, low power ice-protection technology."
The system is in production for Raytheon Aircraft's new Premier I business jet, where is it used on the horizontal stabilizer. Cox expects its revenues to be more than $10 million over the next several years.
"Now that we have FAA certification, we have a credibility that nothing else can give us," said Warren Achenbaum who is chairman and CEO of Cox & Company. "EMEDS is very efficient and adaptable. While our emphasis has been on the Premier I, it has also been selected by VisionAire for the Vantage. Other companies are considering its use." Achenbaum added, "The support from NASA and its SBIR program and from Raytheon during the development of the system was invaluable to our company."
Glenn, now celebrating its 60th year as a federal research facility, began testing ice protection systems in 1944 when its Icing Research Tunnel was completed. Most ice protection technologies in use today were largely developed at the tunnel. In 1987 the American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated the Icing Research Tunnel an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark for its leading role in making aviation safer for everyone.
For more information about Glenn's icing research and its SBIR program, see
For more information about the Cox & Co. ice protection system, see
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