Plextek has been working with Ultra Electronics Controls on its new Ice Protection System, designed to operate on jet engines and which has already been adopted by Pratt & Whitney for its F135 engine on the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft.
The efficient and effective removal of airframe/engine ice is critical to the performance and flight safety of an aircraft. The system that Plextek assisted Ultra Electronics Controls in developing adheres to the DAL-A safety specification; the highest level possible. The system is designed to operate in either an anti-icing, de-icing or hybrid mode and caters to a range of ice protection requirements; from simple, time/voltage, on-off control through to very complex multi-zone, closed loop feedback control. Most aircraft ice protection systems use â€˜bleed air', which is inefficient. The new system from Ultra Electronics Controls is highly efficient and offers far greater control on the protected areas.
â€œUltra and Plextek have been working together for many years now so when they needed support on this project they knew we could deliver,â€ said Gareth Williams, Director, Digital & Analogue at Plextek. â€œThe biggest challenge in designing technology for the aerospace industry is conforming to the understandably strict safety requirements â€“ if the ice protection system fails the results could be catastrophic and this is why we've worked hard to meet the DAL-A level of safety specification.â€
â€œDesigning such a robust piece of technology is no easy task, and having worked closely with Plextek for a long time now we knew we could rely on them,â€ said Kim Wrighton, MD of Ultra Electronics Controls. â€œWith so much to consider this was an incredibly complex project and one that needed close cooperation between both parties. As a company, Ultra Electronics has been working with Plextek for well over fifteen years now and the success of this development shows why.â€