Graham Warwick/ATLANTA

BF Goodrich (BFG) is to conduct certification flight-testing of its SMART boot pneumatic de-icer, with an integrated wide-area ice-detection sensor, on New Piper Aircraft's Malibu Mirage high-performance piston single. The company says that the system "-removes the guesswork from pneumatic de-icer operation".

The SMART boot system features a 900mm-long ice sensor embedded in the pneumatic de-icing boot, at the stagnation line of the aerofoil. "It tells the pilot when he has entered icing conditions, when ice is building up and when to activate the system. It verifies that the de-icer has activated and functioned properly and signals if any residual ice is present," says BFG. A typical installation weighs up to 7kg and costs up to $15,000.

The equipment was developed to identify tail-plane icing, and will be certificated initially as an advisory system. The company says its long-term goal "-is for certification as a primary closed-loop system". The Piper Malibu will be equipped with SMART boots on the horizontal and vertical stabilisers. Some five to six weeks of certification flight-testing is planned.

Source: Flight International