Plextek works with Ultra on ice protection system for jet engines

Plextek has been working with Ultra Electronics Controls on its new Ice Protection System, designed to operate on jet engines and which has already been adopted by Pratt & Whitney for its F135 engine on the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft.

The efficient and effective removal of airframe/engine ice is critical to the performance and flight safety of an aircraft. The system that Plextek assisted Ultra Electronics Controls in developing adheres to the DAL-A safety specification; the highest level possible. The system is designed to operate in either an anti-icing, de-icing or hybrid mode and caters to a range of ice protection requirements; from simple, time/voltage, on-off control through to very complex multi-zone, closed loop feedback control. Most aircraft ice protection systems use ‘bleed air’, which is inefficient. The new system from Ultra Electronics Controls is highly efficient and offers far greater control on the protected areas.

“Ultra and Plextek have been working together for many years now so when they needed support on this project they knew we could deliver,” said Gareth Williams, Director, Digital & Analogue at Plextek. “The biggest challenge in designing technology for the aerospace industry is conforming to the understandably strict safety requirements – if the ice protection system fails the results could be catastrophic and this is why we’ve worked hard to meet the DAL-A level of safety specification.”

“Designing such a robust piece of technology is no easy task, and having worked closely with Plextek for a long time now we knew we could rely on them,” said Kim Wrighton, MD of Ultra Electronics Controls. “With so much to consider this was an incredibly complex project and one that needed close cooperation between both parties. As a company, Ultra Electronics has been working with Plextek for well over fifteen years now and the success of this development shows why.”

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