TKS – A Clear Solution to Icing, Part 4

This is the fourth installment of a seven-part series “TKS – A Clear Solution to Icing,” by Jeffrey Brewer, CEO/Founder of Connecting Aviators.

It makes sense that an aircraft builder based in Minnesota wouldn’t just slip up on the idea of ice protection. For decades, Cirrus airplanes have flown with an ever-evolving clear solution for ice.

Basic TKS Ice Protection, Cirrus SR22 G3 (models mfg. 2007-2009)

In 2007, Cirrus introduced the Generation Three SR22, which sported a re-engineered wing with improved ice protection. This subsequent version was, likewise, a safety feature for escape from inadvertent icing.

The G3 system has a main pump, priming pump, fluid reservoir, titanium panels on the wing leading edges and elevator, a prop hub slinger ring and fluid level monitoring. The vertical stabilizer does not have ice protection and the elevator mass balance leading edge lacks fluid coverage. Pilots should understand the associated risk for ice bridging.

The redesigned wing moved the cabin fresh air inlet from the left-wing root into a NACA scoop on the right side of the cowling. And the original stall warning arrangement was redesigned. These changes allowed the TKS panels to begin near the wing root and extend to the outer wing edge. You’ll notice the G3 wing is longer with smaller wing tip caps than its G2 brethren. But both planes have the same tip-to-tip wing measurements (see photo).

The G3 wing design also allowed the fluid reservoir and filler port cap to be relocated from the fuselage into the left wing (see photo). The new filler port position eases the refill process, allows a visual to the fluid level and helps avoid spills. Reservoir capacity increased to 3.5 gallons.

The G3 includes a primer pump. If you run the tank dry, turn the TKS system on and off two or three times in 10-12 second cycles and the main pump will be primed with fluid after a TKS refill.  Then follow the POH and perform a ground check. 

Two pump rates can be selected: normal and maximum. In normal mode, operating time is up to 80 minutes. In max mode, expect the operating time to be less than 40 minutes.

Early G3 planes with Avidyne Entegra avionics don’t track TKS fluid levels. In 2008, Cirrus Perspective by Garmin was released, which included a TKS tank float monitor to display fluid level on the MFD, but the design doesn’t stop there. A Crew Alert System (CAS) provides visual and audible alerts.

The latest generation CAS monitors more than 15 possible anti-icing system alerts.  For example, Advisory Anti-Ice System off and fluid quantity is between 0.5 – 1.0 gallon. Caution Anti-Ice System on and fluid quantity is between 0.5 – 1.0 gallon. Warning Anti-Ice System on and fluid quantity is less than 0.5 gallon. Caution Anti-Ice Pressure. Warning Flap Ice.

Cirrus SR22-G3 TKS wing root and TKS wing filler cap, photo by wikiWings
Cirrus SR22-G3 TKS panel begins at wing root. TKS filler cap shown for 3.5 gallon wing tank, photo by wikiWings
Cirrus SR22-G3 TKS wing leading edge to tip, photo by wikiWings
Cirrus SR22-G3 TKS panel goes to wing tip edge, photo by wikiWings

© Copyright 2014 – 2023, Jeffrey S. Brewer, all rights reserved

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