De-icing : why and how

Why de-icing is important? A question that can come up to one of us. So, let us know first of all what is this process and why it is necessary.


First and for most the aircraft is designed in a specific detailed way to generate the lift needed to take off or cruse. It is danger to the aircraft to have ice buildup on its wing which is main component to generate lift. The ice could also build up on the moving control surfaces such ailerons or elevators which can be disastrous as it can malfunction the control on the aircraft.  Thus, any unneeded objects that could alter the shape of the wing or the tail must be removed.

Iced aerofoil section
Clean aerofoil section

As we can see as the airfoil section is altered because of the ice the lift needed will be disturbed as the ice disturbs the airflow on the upper and lower surfaces of the wing and tail. 


The de-icing fluid consists of water and propylene glycol which is sprayed at temperature of 150-180 degree with high pressure to remove ice or ice. The common process for deicing is by applying a type of fluid to remove the ice or snow then applying another type of fluid for anti-icing the aircraft. the time needed to deice process depends on the weather conditions. 


Normally it could take from 10 to 15 min to deice a plane but in extreme weather conditions it could take half an hour.

There are procedures for deicing that has been released by the FAA to comply with regulations of safety 

Have you ever experienced an extreme cold weather flight and the airplane has been deiced before takeoff ? Share us your experience.

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