1996-10-01

Icing Flight Tests in Piper Malibu N77DE 965506

Innovative Dynamics, Inc. has developed a low cost Icing Flight Testbed aircraft for use in the development, test and certification of ice protection systems. The testbed aircraft is a Piper Malibu (PA46-310P) single engine general aviation aircraft. Over 120 pounds of test equipment and wiring were installed in the Malibu including a modular data acquisition package. The package includes a dedicated data acquisition computer, two video cameras, outside air temperature probe, airspeed, altimeter, Rosemount Ice Detector, Johnson-Williams LWC meter, and a leading edge mounted thermocouple. The package is designed to use off-the-shelf components to easily accommodate a range of ice sensor and de-icing hardware for evaluation and test. A driving force behind the development of the flight testbed was accommodating the needs of a development and certification program with reasonable financial limitations. Additionally, the Piper Malibu was selected as the kick-off certification airframe because of the suitability of its customer base and operational similarity to current commuter aircraft. Over the last two icing seasons, IDI has used the testbed to certify an impedance-based sensor for accessing airframe icing. This paper describes the various components of the Icing Flight Testbed and the flight test procedures used during the certification process.

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