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Quest News: KODIAK with TKS Ice Protection System

Monday, January 31, 2011…With KODIAK’s new TKS™ Ice Protection System (IPS) freezing conditions are a little less chilling.

As any pilot knows, icing on an airplane can quickly turn a milk run into a catastrophe, and it doesn't take the three inches of ice we built up on unprotected portions of our KODIAK during flight tests in known icing;

all it takes is a touch of frost in the wrong place. For an airplane built to go just about anywhere – for the KODIAK – this kind of limitation is simply unacceptable. So we did something about it.

“Since receiving our type certification in 2007, we have continued to work on enhancements and improvements to the KODIAK,” explains Paul Schaller (President and CEO of Quest Aircraft). “Ice protection is an option that many of our customers have been looking forward to having available to them and we are very pleased that the system is now certified, especially as we move into the winter flying months.”

The TKS™ system is manufactured by CAV Aerospace Inc. It is designed to anti-ice, but is also capable of de-icing the aircraft as well, and is widely recognized as the most effective ice protection available for General Aviation aircraft. This robust IPS is now fully operational and FAA approved on the KODIAK airframe and meets all flight-into-known-icing requirements (FIKI).

So far it has been factory installed on three new KODIAKs, and our first post-delivery retrofit is being mounted right now through our Customer Service department.

The system is a weeping wing design comprised of porous titanium panels that are bonded to the leading edges of KODIAK’s wings, horizontal and vertical stabilizers, struts, and landing gear. These panels are laser drilled with microscopic holes. At 0.0025 inches in diameter these holes are almost as thin as a human hair and, with 800 per square inch, they enable even flow and distribution of the fluid supply across the entire stagnation point travel on the leading edge in a normal operating environment. (This range is from best rate of climb at the low end to VNO at maximum structural cruising speed.) Conservative margins are added to this range to make sure you’re covered. The propeller is protected with a fluid slinger ring.

A glycol-based ice protection fluid is supplied to the panels and propeller by a positive displacement, constant volume metering pump and can be supplied at two flow rates. The low speed supplies fluid at the design point of anti-icing during maximum continuous icing conditions. The high speed doubles the flow rate to remove accumulated ice or to provide ice protection under more severe conditions. Two pumps are installed for redundancy.

This is purpose-built precision engineered technology designed for minimal upkeep, minimal weight addition, and virtually no loss in aircraft performance. It protects KODIAK’s wing leading edges, vertical tail, horizontal tail, landing gear, struts, propeller, and windshield. Additionally, the fluid flow virtually eliminates runback ice on all protected surfaces. When you have to perform under pressure IPS can be life saving – which makes it a perfect fit for the KODIAK. And it’s simple to operate the system. Just turn it ON when icing is encountered and OFF when leaving icing conditions.

Just like KODIAK’s ability to haul 7,255 pounds of aircraft and payload off a 1,000-foot relatively flat, somewhat level, piece of land at 1,300 feet per minute, the TKS system can beat expectations. In testing in airspace over Syracuse, New York, our TKS equipped KODIAK exceeded the maximum continuous icing envelope for the aircraft and kept flying, safely.

“Our testing successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of the KODIAK IPS, which will greatly enhance the aircraft’s safety and dispatch reliability,” Paul adds. “The KODIAK, by design, is intended for rugged operational use. The certified IPS is another reflection of the inherent capabilities the KODIAK offers users. We have seen interest from all of our key market segments, including personal use, Part 135 operations, government, corporate, special operations and humanitarian organizations.”

With more capability within a larger envelope and better safety margins KODIAK’s IPS gives pilots the upper hand in bleak midwinter conditions. Kevin Hawley (CAV Aerospace President) sums it up, “Adding proven TKS ice protection to the KODIAK adds yet another dimension to an aircraft that already demonstrates great versatility.”

For KODIAK pilots, the comfort zone just got bigger.