Log in to use our free company, program and sector update tracker feature.

Front page

GKN Aerospace completes 'ON-WINGS' European ice detection programme

GKN Aerospace has recently completed the coordination and lead of a nine member, European Union (EU)-funded project, called 'ON-WINGS'. This project has successfully developed new optical ice monitoring technology that could enable fully automated in-flight ice protection for the first time.

The 'ON-WINGS' project has: Designed and built a new optical ice detection sensor head; Developed technology that analyses data from this sensor head to precisely monitor ice accumulation; Integrated this equipment as the primary sensor to directly control an electro-thermal ice protection system; Completed ground tests using the GKN Aerospace icing research tunnel facility in the UK.

Extensive testing of the ice detector culminated in flight trial tests in Poland in February 2013 on board an AgustaWestland (PZL) helicopter.

Whereas most current ice sensors are sited remotely from any icing surfaces, the ON-WINGS ice sensor head can be flush mounted into any aerofoil, whether wing, rotor-blade or engine nacelle, and so can directly measure ice as it develops on any aerofoil surface. The new sensor head uses optical fibres to emit light into any ice and collect and measure the light returned. It can directly replace existing ice detection probes or be integrated into any vulnerable surface on the aircraft or aero-engine. Collected data is analysed using new data measurement technology which can determine the precise type, severity, thickness and location of any ice as it develops.

This precision monitoring technology can then send detailed icing information directly to the aircraft's ice protection system (IPS) so functioning as a primary sensor and providing fully automated, fine-control of a zoned and highly controllable ice protection function for the first time.

Rich Oldfield, Technical Director, GKN Aerospace explains: “The ON-WINGS project results have huge potential across aviation. Improving the efficiency of ice protection will have positive consequences for operators of all types of aircraft. More efficient, controlled ice protection will lower fuel consumption, increase airframe or aero-engine performance and endurance and lower maintenance needs - as well as reducing critical carbon emissions. All these are vital factors for operators and users of aircraft worldwide.”

The ON-WINGS project began in October, 2009 and was completed in December, 2012. Consortium members were: GKN Aerospace, University of Ioannina, University of Athens, AOS Technology, Sensor Highway Ltd (a Schlumberger company), TWT GmbH, ESW GmbH, Airbus S.A.S and Agusta Westland (PZL).

Press release issued by GKN Aerospace on June 17, 2013


 Contact details from our directory:
GKN Aerospace Helicopter Assemblies, Aircraft Structural Components, Aircraft Doors, Wings, Empennages, Nacelles, Engine Nozzles, Engine Housings, Transparent Canopies, Fuel Tanks & Systems, Ice Protection/Prevention Equipment, Engine Parts, Winglets, Flotation Gear, Fuselage Sections, Engine Inlets, Windshields, Refueling Equipment, Air Refuelling Systems, Aircraft Control Surfaces, Aircraft Flooring


 Related directory sectors:
Safety & Security Systems
Mechanical Components

Enhanced listings:

Ascent Aerospace
Ascent Aerospace is the leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, assembly automation and factory integration.

Quintus Technologies
Quintus Technologies is a global leading provider of high pressure fluid cell presses and hydroform deep-draw presses for sheet metal forming

Victrex Plc
New VICTREX® AE250 composites and hybrid molding technology are changing the equation in Aerospace composites – find out more!

USA Borescopes
USA Borescopes is a global supplier of world class visual inspection equipment. We are the one stop source for aviation professionals.

Belden Universal
Specialty universal joints and drive shafts, designed to satisfy even the most rigorous operating criteria. Belden Universal is AS9100C certified.

See our advertising tariff.


Monthly page limit exceeded. Please buy a subscription.

© Copyright of Airframer Limited, operated under licence by Stansted News Limited 2016. Terms & Conditions of reading.