TKS – A Clear Solution to Icing, Part 6

This is the sixth 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.

Flash Evaporation – Watch It

Some pilots have reported seeing an opaque, gel-like substance on the windshield or wings. Flash vaporization of water and alcohol from the anti-icing fluid may occur if the system is operated for extended time in clear air, at high altitude and very cold temperatures (e.g., ~15,000 feet; -4° F; 20° C). Flash evaporation results in a glycol-rich fluid that may become gel-like on the wing surface until the aircraft enters precipitation or warmer temperatures.

Caution: If the membranes behind the titanium panels are not kept wet from regular system operation, then fluid delivery might be uneven, resulting in delayed coverage on some surface areas. And extra fluid could be consumed trying to obtain adequate coverage. Note, TKS fluid has a limited useful life and will degrade over time. Owners should follow manufacturers’ recommendations to ensure the system is safely maintained.

Cirrus SR22 airplane wing with TKS system at high altitude
Cirrus SR22 airplane wing with TKS system at high altitude

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

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