This Wing Warmer May Make Flying Safer

In winter, ice forming on an aircraft's wings is a dangerous problem for pilots, who now rely on chemical de-icers. Someday soon, though, they may be able to flip a switch instead. Veratec, a division of International Paper Co., and Thermion Inc. have developed a system that uses an extremely lightweight, conductive fiber mat that can be embedded in paint on wing surfaces where ice builds up. An electronic controller connected to the mat provides heating and system monitoring.

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