Heated Air Ice Protection System Test
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are continually searching for better methods to protect aircraft from ice buildup during flight (aircraft icing). One method is to draw hot air from the engine to heat the leading edges of critical surfaces such as the wings, tail, and engine air inlets. However, this reduces engine efficiency, thereby increasing costs of operating the aircraft. NASA Glenn's Icing Research Tunnel, the world's largest refrigerated wind tunnel, is a valuable national resource for evaluating icing protection technologies. During tests of a heated-air system in 2003, information was also gathered on the effects of runback ice (ice that forms when water does not evaporate on the heated portion of the leading edge, but "runs back" to an unheated area and freezes) on aerodynamic performance. This test was designed as part of a NASA/Federal Aviation Administration/industry/university project.
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