AOPA's 2001 Bonanza Sweepstakes - Apr. 19 Pictures and Commentary

November 11, 2009

Pictures and Commentary

Apr. 19 - Without protection from in-flight airframe and propeller icing, the sweepstakes Bonanza would be handicapped during certain conditions. The only solution to this dilemma was to install a complete Aerospace Systems and Technologies Inc. TKS Ice Protection System.

The TKS system provides airframe, windshield, and propeller ice protection by distributing ice-protection fluid onto critical parts of the airplane before and during icing conditions. A fluid slinger ring system meters the non-freezing fluid onto the hub of each propeller blade. Centrifugal force slings the fluid out along the blade leading edges.

For the windshield, fluid is distributed though a spray bar/wind deflector that's mounted forward of the pilot. Small holes in the spray bar evenly distribute fluid at the base of the windshield. The fluid, pushed along by slipstream air, then flows up over the top of the cabin, carrying away any ice, and is reapplied as necessary to prevent the formation of new ice.

Neither propeller slingers nor windshield spray bars are particularly new inventions, with both being used on Douglas DC-3s and other early Transport category airplanes. But the part of the system that will shrug ice off the sweepstakes Bonanza's wings is ingenious and a relatively new application for general aviation airplanes.

Laser-drilled wing panels

The clever parts of the "weeping wing" system, as it is commonly known, are the fluid-distributing leading edges for the wing and tail. These leading edges are complex sandwiches of metal and other materials. The outermost layer of the sandwich is a piece of airfoil-shaped titanium from 27 thousandths to 35 thousandths of an inch thick. It has been perforated by laser-drilled holes that are 0.0025 inch in diameter, with 800 of them covering each square inch. The other layers of the sandwich are a porous membrane, a rain-erosion membrane, a special foam that distributes the fluid, and an inner metal layer that is bonded to the wing with a two-part flexible adhesive. The shiny new stainless steel leading edges add strength, and are durable and corrosion-resistant.

The fluid, which is a mixture of 85 percent ethylene glycol, 5 percent isopropyl alcohol, and 10 percent deionized water by volume, is stored in a reservoir that is typically of 6 to 7.8 gallons' capacity, and is distributed through a network of nylon tubes. A small control unit on the instrument panel (there are three different size and shape configurations designed to accommodate most panel layouts) gives the pilot information about reservoir capacity, and contains warning lights and switches that control the system.

The electrically powered pumps typically draw 1.5 amps, a very low amount. Airplanes that are approved for flight into known icing (the sweepstakes Bonanza system does not have this approval) have dual pumps for redundancy. Each pump has two speed capabilities. During normal operations, the pumps deliver the amount of fluid necessary to prevent ice from forming; a higher delivery rate is available for deicing or extremely heavy icing conditions. During normal flow rates, there is sufficient fluid for more than two hours of operation. System weight varies but 35 to 40 pounds is typical. The fluid weighs 9.2 pounds per gallon, resulting in a full system weight of 90 to 110 pounds. When icing will not be a factor, draining the fluid will increase the useful load by 55 to 70 pounds.

The TKS system is a very efficient system that fits right into the AOPA goal of equipping the sweepstakes Bonanza with top-of-the-line, twenty-first century equipment.

A.S. and T, Inc. of Salina, Kansas, has STC approval to install its TKS ice protection systems on the following high-performance single- and twin-engine airplanes: Beech models 33 and 36, and S35 though V35B; Mooney M20J, K, M, and M20R models; Cessna U206F and G models; Cessna P210 and turbocharged and normally aspirated (T)210L, M, and N models; and the Socata TB20 and TB21. Flight into known-ice certification is available when the TKS system is installed on the Commander 114B and 114TC; all of the Cessna 210 models earlier mentioned; Aero Commander 500B, 500U, and 500S models; Beech Baron B55, C, D, E, 55, and 58 models, and Mooney M20K, M, R, and M20S models.

For more information see the TKS Web site.

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AOPA would like to thank TKS for its contribution to the 2001 sweepstakes Bonanza.

Aerospace Systems and Technologies Inc., 3213 Arnold Avenue, Salina, Kansas 67401; telephone 888/865-5515 or 785/493-0946; fax 785/493-0950; e-mail tksales@weepingwings.com or visit the Web site ( www.weepingwings.com).