Liebherr-Aerospace: Another Milestone in the Field of Electric Air Management Systems

Within the framework of the Joint Technology Initiative “Clean Sky”*, Liebherr-Aerospace Toulouse SAS, Toulouse (France), and Sonaca SA, Gosselies (Belgium), have recently achieved a major milestone in the development of a wing ice protection system that uses electric instead of pneumatic energy.

The companies had the thermal performances of the electric ice protection system validated in both an anti-icing and a de-icing mode under defined icing conditions. The tests were carried out at the NASA Icing Re-search Tunnel (IRT), in Cleveland, Ohio (USA). The functionality of the control principle of the system was also tested and validated.

The next validation step will be a flight test with an electrical wing ice protection system demonstrator on an Airbus A320 test platform in 2015. This test is meant to evaluate the robustness of both the control and the power consumption of the system in the different flight phases.

Electric wing ice protection: a contribution to greener air transport

In certain flight phases, e.g. during taxiing or take-off, classic pneumatic bleed ice protection systems drain more energy for anti-icing than needed. As a result, they significantly impact on the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions of the aircraft.

The electric wing ice protection system, in contrast, adapts its power demand to the flight phases, thus substantially reducing the total power consumption in flight. Also, it features both an anti-icing and a de-icing mode, which gives air framer customers the opportunity to specify their system operation requirements even more precisely. Switching between the modes can reduce energy consumption even further.

With the next-generation wing ice protection system both companies contribute to making air transport greener, and strengthen their position in their respective field of competence – Liebherr-Aerospace in supplying electric air management systems for future electric aircraft, and Sonaca in manufacturing advanced integrated wing leading edges.

*Clean Sky, a Public Private Partnership between the European Commission and the Aeronautical Industry, was set up to bring significant step changes regarding the environmental impact of aviation.

Liebherr-Aerospace is a leading supplier of systems for the aviation industry

Liebherr-Aerospace & Transportation SAS, Toulouse (France), is one of ten divisional control companies within the Liebherr Group and coordinates all activities in the aerospace and transportation systems sectors.

Liebherr-Aerospace is a leading supplier of systems for the aviation industry and has more than five decades of experience in this field. The range of aviation equipment produced by Liebherr for the civil and military sectors includes flight control and actuation systems, landing gear and air management systems. These systems are deployed in wide-bodied aircraft, single aisle and regional aircraft, business jets, combat aircraft, military transporters, military training aircraft, civil helicopters and combat helicopters.

Liebherr’s aerospace and transportation systems division employs over 4,000 people. It has four aviation equipment production plants at Lindenberg (Germany), Toulouse (France), Guaratinguetá (Brazil) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). These production sites offer a worldwide service with additional customer service centers in Saline (Michigan/USA), Seattle (Washington/USA), Wichita (Kansas/USA), Montreal (Canada), Sao José dos Campos (Brazil), Hamburg (Germany), Moscow (Russia), Dubai (UAE), Singapore and Shanghai (People’s Republic of China).