Weeping wings go green

November 7, 2009

Anti-icing and de-icing fluid manufacturer Kilfrost announced Nov. 6 at AOPA Aviation Summit that it is within 60 to 90 days of achieving certification of a new, ecologically-friendly ice protection fluid.

The new fluid, dubbed TKS Sustain, is a glycol-based fluid derived from corn instead of the current petroleum-based ice protection fluid used in such weeping-wing-equipped airplanes as the Cirrus SR22 and the Cessna Caravan.

Kilfrost believes it’s just a matter of time before the Environmental Protection Agency mandates a fluid with less adverse impact on the environment.

Kilfrost Incorporated and CAV Aerospace, Inc. (formerly AS&T), based in Salina, Kan., will continue to sell the current-production TKS 408B fluid, but begin offering TKS Sustain once it’s approved and certified.

The new fluid will have some big advantages over the traditional TKS fluid. It will weigh 10 percent less, making a gallon weigh 8.3 pounds instead of TKS 408B’s 9.2 pounds. Its viscosity characteristics are better, too. TKS Sustain will stay thinner at colder temperatures and be slightly thicker at warmer temperatures. On the down side, TKS Sustain will cost 10 to 20 percent more per gallon. TKS Sustain’s price has yet to be determined. The fluid will be sold in 250-, 55-, 30-, 5-, and 2.5-gallon sizes.