A £1m+ project to develop ‘smart’ composite leading edges for aircraft wings with embedded heaters to protect the wings against ice build-up (while reducing weight and boosting efficiency compared with existing systems), has concluded successfully after crucial wind tunnel tests. The EU-funded ELWIPS programme brought together researchers from the University of Sheffield’s AMRC and aerospace companies Meggitt and AeroTex.
ELWIPS is a programme managed by aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The AMRC designed and built a composite wing structure which incorporates electric heating technology and power control systems developed by Meggitt subsidiaries in the UK and France, while specialists in icing prevention and prediction, AeroTex, determined the sizing, zoning, power rating and control strategy for the heaters.
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