Sunday, June 19, 2011

Effect of Ice formation on aircraft

During flight in certain conditions, ice may accumulate on the entire forward facing areas of the aircraft.
The accumulations of ice have the following effects on an aircraft:

•A decrease in lift due to a change in shape of the wing aerofoil section and loss of the streamline flow of air around the leading edges and top surfaces.

•An increase in drag for the same reasons that cause a loss of lift. The rough surface produced increases skin friction.

•Decreased propeller efficiency because of the change in blade shape. There is also the possibility of damage to the fuselage as a result of ice being flung off the propellers.

•There may be loss of control due to ice restricting or preventing movement of the control surfaces.

•An increase in weight causing loss of height. A change in distribution of the weight can cause a change in the trim of the aircraft and possibly a loss of stability.

•Blockage of pitot heads and static vents.

•Loss of vision through the forward facing cabin windows or windshields.


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