Icing Thrust Loss Mystifies Researchers

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News Article: Aviation Week

This article reports encouraging news of original research by General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce as to the accumulation of ice crystals in engine cores. The three companies have established two research sites ( P&W and RR is a joint endeavor) in Northern Canada for its obvious proclivity for extreme cold. Ironically, the report points out that many of the incidents “occur in Southeast Asia. As a result, a team of atmospheric scientists is heading first to Florida, and then to Darwin, Australia, where they hope to find data to unlock the mystery.” Convective clouds and heretofore unforecast buildup of ice crystals are other aspects of the research and testing.

These initiatives can foster real advances in aviation safety NASA, Canada’s National Research Council, the NTSB, Boeing, Honeywell, Environment Canada, National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and Airbus are all contributing to this effort. The work will be, almost by definition, slow, but the knowledge ultimately accumulated will contribute significantly to the safer flight operations.

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