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Design of iced airfoils

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Per Ola Kristensson.

Ice formation on an aircraft happens when supercooled water droplets impinge on the leading-edge surfaces, freezing immediately upon impact. Ice accretions alter the effective shape of the aircraft, modifying the aerodynamic forces and moments caused by the air flow over iced components. The primary effects are increased drag, reduced stall angle, and reduced maximum lift. Over the last 80 years, significant efforts have been devoted to improving understanding both of the physics of the ice accretion process and of the resulting degradation in aerodynamic performance. Significant progress has also been made through improved certification processes and more effective ice- protection systems. Despite these continued efforts, icing-induced incidents and accidents continue to occur on all classes of aircraft, to the point that the National Transportation Safety Board ranked icing among its “Most Wanted Aviation Transportation Safety Improvements.” In consideration of the impossibility of eliminating all the causes/occurrences of ice build-up, this work approaches the problem of ice formation on aircraft from a different perspective: can we design our aircraft so that they are insensitive (or at least less-sensitive) to ice formation?

This talk is part of the Darwin College Science Seminars series.

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