Embraer and Collins Aerospace are continuing flight testing of a jointly developed innovative carbon nanotube electro thermal heating technology (CNT) for ice protection systems.
The flight test program has been underway at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto unit in Brazil with the first flight taking place in December 2021. The new CNT ice protection system solution was successfully installed on the vertical stabilizer and flight tested in the Brazilian aerospace company’s fully functional Phenom 300E prototype aircraft.
“We are very encouraged by the recent test results, and we are convinced that this innovative technology will meet our ambitious technological and sustainability roadmap,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Technology Development, and Corporate Strategy at Embraer.
Dr. Mauro Atalla, senior vice president, Engineering and Technology for Collins Aerospace said the new electrothermal CNT technology was more energy efficient, lighter, and uses greener manufacturing processes than current systems.
Atalla said the company believes that this system will become the future standard for ice protection – including those in more electric aircraft designs. The project is part of the More Electric Aircraft (MEA) technologies development approach, which includes a series of industry initiatives to ensure the commitment to net-zero emission by 2050.
As compared to existing metallic heaters, those based on CNT technology have significant advantages. This includes the elimination of chemical etching processes which reduce the energy requirement by 25 percent at the system level and minimize aerodynamic adverse effects caused by ice.
The CNT’s lightweight heater element is significantly lighter than a conventional metallic heater, features enhanced damage tolerance, and should result in a longer product life cycle.
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