Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-38-0031
2011-06-13

CFD-Icing: A Predictive Tool for In-Flight Icing Risk Management 2011-38-0031

In-flight icing is a hazard that continues to afflict the aviation industry despite all the research and efforts to mitigate the risks. The recurrence of these types of accidents has given renewed impetus to the development of advanced analytical predictive tools to study both the accretion of ice on aircraft components in flight, and the aerodynamic consequences of such ice accumulations. In this work, an in-depth analysis of the occurrence of in-flight icing accidents and incidents was conducted to identify high-risk flight conditions. To investigate these conditions more thoroughly, a computational fluid dynamics model of a representative airfoil was developed to recreate accidents that occurred in these flight conditions. The ice accumulations and resulting aerodynamic performance degradations of the airfoil were computed for a range of pitch angles and flight speeds. These simulations revealed substantial performance losses such as reduced maximum lift, and decreased stall angle. From these results, a specific icing hazard analysis tool was developed, using risk management principles, to evaluate the dangers of in-flight icing for a given aircraft based on the atmospheric conditions it is expected to encounter.

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