An international field research campaign led by Airbus and NASA has gathered a wealth of data on icing conditions in convective weather, especially on ice crystals that cause engine icing. The eight-week effort ended in March in Darwin, Australia, and the researchers expect to publish their report early next year. The partners in the project hope to gain a better understanding of icing conditions that will allow them to devise mathematical models for equipment manufacturers to use when designing detection systems.
Lufthansa Technik is offering two innovative products for private aircraft cabins: a steam generator for steam showers and an on-board oxygen generator. The steam generator, consisting of a steam outlet, a control panel and a refill port for the vaporizer fluid, is self-contained and does not have to be connected to the aircraft’s water system. Aroma oils can also be addedInstalling the steam shower is particularly challenging: overheating inside the steam generator must be impossible, and the shower enclosure must be so well sealed that no steam can escape.
Lufthansa Technik of Hamburg, Germany (Booth H614) is showcasing two innovative products for VIP cabins here at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai: an “Aircraft Steam Generator System” for steam showers; and the “On Board Oxygen Generation System” which delivers an unlimited supply of therapeutic oxygen.
The steam generator facilitates installation of steam showers in VIP aircraft. The self-contained unit, which has an empty weight of 18 kg, does not need to be connected to the aircraft’s existing water system. Essential oils can be added to aromatize the room.
Current in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS) cannot detect ice crystals. But equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace (Booth E07) is developing a new FIDS, using optical techniques. It will detect any form of icing and will be able to tell which form of ice–small or large supercooled droplets, crystal and so forth–is impacting the aircraft. It will give the crew specific warnings when large-droplet icing conditions or ice crystals are encountered, François Larue, head of research and technology of Zodiac’s Aircraft Systems division, told AIN.
By the time hypoxia is detected, it’s often too late, and the higher the cabin altitude, the less time pilots have to realize that they need to don oxygen masks.
Despite the first day of spring being just a few weeks away, encounters with icing at altitude still represent a very real problem. Responsibility for understanding the intricacies of ice formation, as well as how to exit an area of icing before a loss of aircraft control occurs, still falls on the cockpit crew. Here are some valuable icing resources that are easily accessed from any Internet connection that are worth bookmarking for next year’s season.
Twin Commander Aircraft has developed a pressurization leak kit for rudder-pedal horns. Leaks in the boots that enclose the rudder-pedal horns can result in a noticeable loss of pressure differential, meaning a higher cabin altitude at cruise. Twin Commander’s new rudder-pedal seal kit includes a plug for the rudder-pedal horns/brake valve arms and improved boots that help preserve cabin pressurization.
Twin Commander Aircraft has developed a rudder-pedal seal kit that it says virtually eliminates pressurization leaks in a troublesome area. Leaks in the original boots that enclose the rudder-pedal horns can lead to a noticeable loss of pressure differential, resulting in a higher cabin altitude at cruise. Twin Commander’s new rudder-pedal seal kit includes a plug for the rudder-pedal horns/brake valve arms and improved boots that help preserve cockpit and cabin pressurization.
Anti-icing surfaces under development at GE and EADS could one day reduce and possibly even eliminate the need for existing anti-icing techniques. Research organizations at the two major aerospace companies are currently working on surfaces that would naturally repel ice without using energy.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has taken delivery of a Mentor advanced aircraft training device built by Frasca. The trainer will be used in studies of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, in the university’s Normobaric lab. The Mentor replicates a Cessna 172 cockpit complete with Garmin G1000 avionics and a Truvision visual system.
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