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The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Closer to perfection in aircraft ice protection

Up there where the big planes fly, it gets very cold indeed: outside temperatures of minus 50°C are nothing special. Droplets of water suspended in the air can freeze to aircraft instantly, accumulating into layers of ice. A number of systems are used to tackle this gelid build-up, which constitutes a safety hazard. EU-funded researchers are developing new solutions.

The Jedi Ace project is striving to improve on current techniques designed to keep the wings of flying aircraft free of ice. It has developed new coatings that will make it harder for freezing water to adhere, and designed innovative sensors that will help to detect any ice that has begun to form. It has also looked into ways to improve on current approaches for heating systems designed to keep wings clear.

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