Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Preparations continue for launching engine icing research

Date:
February 20, 2012
Source:
NASA
Summary:
NASA scientists are making progress in their preparations to mount a detailed research campaign aimed at solving a modern-day aviation mystery involving the unlikely combination of fire and ice inside a running jet engine.

Polar opposites attract in the puzzling case of ice crystal engine icing, where the frozen crystals can be ingested into the core of a jet engine.
Credit: NASA/Eric Mindek

NASA scientists are making progress in their preparations to mount a detailed research campaign aimed at solving a modern-day aviation mystery involving the unlikely combination of fire and ice inside a running jet engine.

The investigation deals with the seemingly strange notion that ice crystals associated with warm-weather storms can be ingested into the core of a jet engine, melt and then re-freeze, potentially causing the engine to lose power or shut down altogether. Safety officials have documented more than 150 incidents of this phenomenon since 1988. Most of the incidents have occurred in the tropics.

"It doesn't seem intuitive that ice can form in the core of a warm engine," said Ron Colantonio, manager of the Atmospheric Environment Safety Technologies Project at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

So in order to make sense of the mystery, NASA and its research partners are planning to gather information by flying a specially-outfitted business jet in high-altitude, warm-weather conditions suspected of having a large amount of ice crystals.

Technicians in California are currently modifying a Gulfstream G2 airplane to hold a suite of meteorological instruments, with hopes of having everything ready for initial trial runs of the full setup in Florida this August.

The research team then will take the lessons learned from their trial runs, make appropriate changes and prepare for the primary campaign, which is now targeted between January and March, 2013. These flights will take place over Darwin, Australia, an area known for having the type of storms that include high levels of ice crystals.

Meanwhile, another set of investigators will be preparing the ground segment of the research, which involves simulating the engine icing conditions in an engine test facility at Glenn, as well as refining new computer codes to help predict where and when the engine icing conditions exist.

For now, pilots are being trained to recognize the potential existence of these ice crystals, which are about the same size as baking soda, and advised to avoid the weather conditions as best they can. Although a potential hazard, no accident has been attributed to the phenomenon in the 23 years since it was identified.

In most of the known cases, pilots have managed to restore engine power and reach their destinations without further problems. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been two forced landings.

For example, in 2005, both engines of a Beechcraft business jet failed at 38,000 feet above Jacksonville, Fla. The pilot safely glided the aircraft to an airport, dodging thunderstorms and ominous clouds on the way down.

It is expected that updated flight safety rules and engine testing standards will be adopted once all the research is compiled and analyzed during the next few years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Preparations continue for launching engine icing research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220144132.htm>.
NASA. (2012, February 20). Preparations continue for launching engine icing research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220144132.htm
NASA. "Preparations continue for launching engine icing research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120220144132.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins