Radiant Technology, the company founded by James Wiebe (former head of BeLite Aircraft), is known for bringing interesting technologies into the experimental world. He’s well known for compact instruments, and has dabbled in inexpensive radios, pioneered some interesting fuel monitoring systems—but his latest exploration is in the world of de-icing for light experimental aircraft.
His system, being developed and demonstrated at the Comp Air booth, and planned for implementation on that aircraft, is based on high power electromechanical actuators that pulse the structure of the leading edge. Using about 500 watts to de-ice a large wing, he is demonstrating the actuator with a thin disk of metal, which is flung upward off the table and hits the inside of the tent roof at Oshkosh at speeds that the eye can’t follow.
Comp Air is designing their wing with a removable leading edge so that the actuators can be mounted and serviced (if required) underneath the metal skin. He uses a high voltage step-up module to change 28 volts to 1000 or more. This charges a capacitor that releases its energy all at once to pulse the skin and break the ice.
The system is expected to be fully integrated and tested in the near future, and we’ll watch it with interest.