SALINA, Kan. October 22, 2010 – The rest of the first week was dedicated to removal of the boots and cleaning up the leading edges. The boots themselves stripped off fairly easily but the glue residue and edge sealant was a different matter. The area needing to be cleaned was very large and we had to ensure even the smallest amount of residue was completely removed in order to allow us to prime and paint.
While the leading edges were being cleaned up, Brandon, our panel fitting expert, went to work determining what alterations needed to be made to achieve a clean fit for the TKS panels. The outer skin of the ice protection panels are manufactured with titanium, typically 0.7 to 0.9mm thick. Titanium provides excellent strength, durability, light weight, and corrosion resistance. The panel skin is perforated by laser drilling holes, 0.0025 inches in diameter, 800 per square inch. The porous area of the titanium panels is designed to cover the stagnation point travel on the appropriate leading edge over a normal operating environment. This range is typically from best rate of climb at the low end to VNO, maximum structural cruising speed. Conservative margins are added to this range.The back plate of a typical panel is manufactured with stainless steel or titanium. It is formed to create a reservoir for the ice protection fluid, allowing fluid supply to the entire porous area. a porous membrane between the outer skin and the reservoir assure even flow and distribution through the entire porous area of the panel.
The porous panels can be bonded or attached as a cuff over a leading edge (typical in STC installations) or built in as the leading edge. Most high performance general aviation singles and twins utilize the cuff method. Panels are bonded to the airframe with a two part, flexible adhesive. The typical panel will have from 1 to 2 fluid inlets and a single air outlet on the inner skin.
Brandon carefully fits each panel and determines the exact location for all holes that need to be drilled to plumb the panels. Once fitted he will carefully trim each panel to ensure a optimal fit.