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Thermion Chosen for Boeing 7E7 Wing Ice Protection Heater Elements

LUTON, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 16, 2004–An electro-thermal de-icing system using heater elements made from Thermion(R) material has been selected for the wing leading edge ice protection system being provided by Ultra Electronics and GKN for the new Boeing 7E7 ‘Dreamliner’ commercial aircraft.

The experience and resources of Ultra Electronics, GKN Aerospace and Thermion Systems have been combined to design and develop an ice protection system for the wing leading edge slats. As system integrator, the Ultra Controls division based in Greenford, England will supply the control and power delivery system while GKN Aerospace based in Luton, England will fabricate and supply the composite structure containing the Thermion(R) heater elements.

Today’s commercial jet aircraft extract hot compressed air from their engines to provide a heat source for wing ice protection. An electro-thermal system is more fuel efficient and avoids the problems associated with channeling hot gas tubing through complex wing and fuselage structures. Thermion(R) heaters, made from finely dispersed metal coated carbon fiber elements, may be integrated into composite or polymer material structures. Lightweight, with low thermal inertia and high damage tolerance, Thermion(R) is ideally suited for aircraft ice protection applications. Thermion(R) has been selected for the propeller blade de-icers on the new A400M European Military Transport Aircraft while a number of other ice protection applications on fixed and rotating wing aircraft are currently under development.

Thermion Systems International is a privately owned company headquartered in Stratford, Connecticut with its research and development facilities in the United Kingdom. In addition to its aerospace products, Thermion Systems also produces a range of Thermion(R) flexible flat heaters that are entering use in a wide variety of general industrial applications.

“This application for Thermion(R) on the 7E7 ‘Dreamliner’ is the result of many years of patient R&D work,” said Mr Frank G McAdam Chairman of Thermion Systems International. “We expect Thermion(R) heaters to set the standard for future electro-thermal aircraft ice protection systems.”

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