DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa) has performed an initial series of in-flight icing tests using prototype Eurofighter DA1 as part of efforts to certificate the aircraft for operation under instrument flight rules conditions.

During the first flight, the Eurofighter trailed 75m (245ft) behind a Dornier 228 spray aircraft at an altitude of around 9,000ft with its landing gear deployed. The ambient temperature was -10°C.

"The main objective was to put ice onto the canards, engine intake and the leading edge of the wings," says Dasa. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, acting as the customer on behalf of the four partner nations - Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK- procuring the fighter, has specified that the aircraft must be able to fly safely through icing conditions at -15°C for at least 5min.

The airborne trials follow ground-based icing tests at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Boscombe Down facility in the UK (Flight International, 14-20 March). Six flights were due to have been completed by the end of last month.

A second round of icing flights are due to be performed between December this year and January 2001, says Dasa.

Source: Flight International