ALL THE OPTIONS IN AN ERA OF CHANGE
We’ve been keeping critical aerodynamic surfaces and engine air inlets ice free without limiting flight range and safety for over 50 years.
And we are uniquely experienced in the primary technologies—bleed air and electro-thermal systems.
Our engineering team, many of whom have aircraft constructor experience, know how to design, integrate, manufacture and qualify them in ways that minimise programme risk.
We are trialling our latest innovation—electro-thermal ice protection with advanced smart control—with a leading manufacturer of fuel-efficient, more electric fixed wing aircraft.
While decreasing drag on engine power, our technology will also become critical for ice protection on composite wings.
NEXT GENERATION ELECTRO-THERMAL SYSTEMS FOR FIXED WING
Meggitt’s energy-conscious, electro-thermal ice protection uses up to 50% less power than traditional bleed air systems and delivers 100% more control.
Using clever control logic, our systems react to flight conditions, providing the right amount of power, in the right place, at the right time.
Integrating anti-ice, de-ice and runback control
We can heat a wing leading edge continuously, yet deliver energy savings by varying the intensity of heat across additional zones on the wing’s upper surface according
to the severity of the icing environment.
And when it is needed, we can de-ice a wing’s underside economically, switching heat between discrete zones in a continuous cycle according to flight conditions.
Integrating heated structures and materials
Our solutions are complete. They include integrating heated structures and materials for wing leading edges, optimising electro-thermal transfer and reducing weight.
PROTECTING AIRCRAFT TODAY
We have been addressing the challenges of complex, aerodynamic shapes, large structures and mission-critical flight control components for nearly 50 years and have a complete understanding of all thermosetting composite materials.
Etched foil heater elements
For low stress, low control applications.
For applications that must accommodate extreme temperature cycling and heavy use, we use a web of copper or alloy elements intricately woven by hand or machine adhered to a textile base made from nylon, fibre glass or graphite carbon, pre-impregnated with lightweight composite material to maximise electro-thermal transfer, minimise weight and withstand a range of punishing environmental conditions.
From simple monolithic components to complex hybrid sandwich structures using resin systems that can operate at over 200°C.
We embed electronic control and protection equipment with resistive heater elements.
Across the de- and anti-ice spectrum, we protect the leading edges of helicopter blades, spinner cones, skirts and fairings, main and tail rotors and air engine inlets on many military and commercial programmes.
Sikorsky Black Hawk and Sea Hawk
The main tail and rotor blades of over 2,000 h50 helicopters are heated by Meggitt’s electro-thermal technology.
Bell-Boeing V22 Osprey
We addressed exacting challenges with this innovative aircraft’s vertical take-off and tilt rotor, combining anti-ice with de-icing zones in one propeller.
We ensured the reliability of flight control parts into extreme icing zones for this commercial tilt rotor.
We conquered this heavy lift transport’s complex inlet and gear box fairing shapes.
The systems incorporated into this medium lift helicopter’s air engine inlets exemplify our ability to create large, yet lightweight, monolithic structures in geometrically challenging configurations.
Meggitt’s standard electro-thermal ice protection technology is largely military and rotary in orientation as most commercial aircraft were designed for pneumatic (bleed air) ice protection equipment in less energy-conscious times. However, it numbers several commercial fixed wing programmes amongst its customer base.
Meggitt provided solutions to laminate deformation caused by thermal expansion for the Beechjet 400; and for the Learjet 41 business jet where bleed air would have been difficult to deliver from engine to stabiliser.
Meggitt designed and built the very large heated structures needed to heat leading edges of the B1B supersonic strategic bomber’s engine inlet guide vanes, avoiding bleed air solutions that would drain the aircraft’s propulsion systems,
a benefit for all aircraft featuring electro-thermal solutions.
Pneumatic bleed air ice protection ducts hot air from gas turbine engines inside wing and engine nacelle leading edges and distributes it through perforated tubes and baffles within a series of plenum chambers created within the structure. The air is exhausted locally.
We make the highest quality lipskins, inlet structures, piccolo tubes, ducting and anti-ice valves needed for such systems but there’s more to our offer than component quality.
Our strength lies in the systems capability exercised by
our in-house engineering team, which has significant experience of aircraft construction and what it takes to manage a programme.
We combine the know-how of 50 years in ice protection with advanced analytical tools, including 3-D flow modelling methods, impingement prediction models, catchment efficiency and heat transfer calculations to de-risk scheduling, reduce man-hours and cut the cost of programmes.
And we ensure that operating economics – weight, cost and reliability – are all part of Meggitt’s ice protection equation.
COMPLEX, COMPOSITE STRUCTURES
We offer a wide range of structural solutions. Our composite parts, embedded with resistive heater elements and electronic control and protection equipment, range from simple monolithic components to complex hybrid sandwich structures using resin systems that can operate at over 200ºC.
Our approach to structural excellence is based on optimising load, weight and cost without compromising performance and reliability, which is why we have been selected to work with a major airframer to integrate our pioneering electro-thermal ice protection into an advanced heated structure.
Leading on composite wings
Bleed air is not used to protect composite structures from icing threats because of the material’s temperature limitations. Our composite-based electro-thermal technologies, proven on multiple engine inlet programmes, position us strongly to provide low risk ice protection solutions for composite wings. Meggitt’s smarter use of electro-thermal power also enables the development of smaller, lighter and more efficient engines.
MEGGITT’S SOLUTIONS ARE COMPLETE
- Ice modelling and analysis
- Controllers and control system algorithms
- Electrical power management design
- Integrated heated structures and materials
- Icing tunnel test
- Flight trial and certification support
- Sub-systems integration
KEY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
De-ice and anti-ice protection
- Electro-thermal systems
- Bleed air systems
- System controllers
- Nacelle structures, inlets, rotors, wings
Capabilities and services
- Systems engineering
- Design, integration, manufacturing and qualification
- Flow analysis
- Structural/stress analysis FEA
- Analytical analysis of droplet impingement trajectory and rate
- Icing test units and test support
- Sectional and full-scale icing testing
- Ice accretion and flow analysis
- Thermodynamics analysis
- Power usage analysis
- Structural analysis
- Flight test support
- Qualification/certification support
- Integrated logistic support
Core design tools
Developing the optimal ice protection system, whether electro-thermal and bleed air, involves determining air flow characteristics around critical surfaces. Simple forms such as wings and other aerofoils require two-dimensional analysis. More complex flow systems like engine air inlets must be looked at in three dimensions.
To provide a true picture of the local flow characteristics around a complex shape, we use the latest computational fluid dynamic software to model flows around much
of an entire aircraft. This flow domain is translated by
a computational icing code to identify the areas and magnitude of ice accretion and determine the power needed for the appropriate ice protection solution.
Drafting and stress
- CAD: Unigraphics NX3, CATIA V5, Solid Works
- FEA: NASTRAN, PATRAN, MARC, Laminate Modeller,
- COSMOS works, MathCad
- CFD: FLUENT, FLOWorks
- Ice modelling: TRAJICE, HRB2D, ICECREMO
- Thermodynamic piccolo tube sizing – ANALICE
Meggitt’s systems, whether bleed air or advanced electro-thermal solutions, protect engine inlets, canards
and tail and rotor blades on a wide range of business jets, helicopters and turbo-prop aircraft. Their makers include Bell, Agusta Westland, Embraer, Eurocopter, Fokker, Hawker Beechcraft, Rolls-Royce, Piaggio, Sikorsky and others.
Just one of the Meggitt capabilities covered in Meggitt in a Minute, the group’s e-tour.