Some may have questions on the reasons for de-icing an aircraft, how is it done and why? When traveling from a wintery weather the ice, snow, or sleet could be problematic for the aircraft. The aircraft needs to be deiced to initiate take off. Removing and avoiding the build-up of ice is essential because the aircraft is built in a very specific way in which the shape of the aircraft is designed for the airflow to move in a certain direction for an ideal take off. This means the ice/ build-up of snow could potentially alter the shape of the aircraft in a way that the airflow across the surface hinders the ability to create a lift. Which could cause a potential error during take-off.
When the weather causes accumulation of ice or snow on the aircraft the pilot oversees acquiring the airport's deicing facility to have it removed and prevented. The deicing fluid is a mixture of glycol and water which goes under the heat and is sprayed under pressure to remove any ice or snow off the aircraft. However, this fluid goes only as far as removing the ice/snow/sleet. To prevent from icing any further or keep snow or sleet off the anti-icing fluid is used after the deicing fluid. The anti-ice is a higher concentration of glycol, the freezing point is below 32 degrees, so it can prevent any freeze off the aircraft’s surface.
The anti-icing fluid loses its effectiveness over time; however, the aircraft is equipped with a system that prevents frozen precipitation from building onto various parts of the aircraft. These systems are not only for winter months or wintery climate because the aircraft fly in high altitudes which is well beyond the freezing point. Deicing, while the aircraft is in high altitudes, can be done by hot air from engine moving to the piping in the wings and tail or by engine opening to warm surfaces.
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