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Electro-thermal Laminar Wing Ice Protection System Demonstrator

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€1 498 446
EU Contribution
€888 217
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS

This proposal regarded designing, building and testing a functional prototype of part of a laminar wing fitted with electro-thermal ice protection (ETIPS) for a business jet. The aim was to show innovation in the use of composite materials for the fixed leading edge, (e.g. Fibre/Metal Laminates), which are thermally efficient, can be manufactured to tight laminar wing tolerances and comparable to aluminium for weight & cost. Furthermore, the structure was evaluated for its basic damage resistance properties and ease of repair.

The ETIPS aspects were innovative through a focus on minimising power consumption, using sensors to allow power demand management and thereby achieve a Smart ETIPS. Different types of heater elements were tested in a range of configurations to optimise ice protection coverage and power consumption. Trials were also be conducted to minimise the weight of the ETIPS heater elements, controllers and wiring.

Several structural and layout trade-off studies were conducted and the final solution tested in an icing wind tunnel.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme
JTI-CS - Joint Technology Initiatives - Clean Sky
Other Programme
JTI-CS-2011-3-SFWA-02-021 Fixed Leading Edge Structure and Systems Demonstrator for a Business Jet laminar wing


Executive Summary:

The principal objective of ELWIPS was to design a functional prototype of a full scale laminar wing for a High Speed Business Jet equipped with an Electro-thermal ice protection system (ETIPS) which was to be tested at an icing wind tunnel (IWT). ELWIPS was executed by consortium consisting of Meggitt Artus (ELWIPS Coordinator), Meggitt Polymers and Composites (Programme Lead and System Integrator), AeroTex UK LLP (Icing Specialists), and the University of Sheffield (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre).

The first part of the project was the definition of the ice protection performance and operational requirements as specified by the Topic Manager. These requirements were used by AeroTex UK LLP (ATX) to define both anti-ice (AI) and de-ice icing (DI) solutions.

The ETIPS aspects were innovative through a focus on minimising power consumption, using sensors to allow power demand management and thereby achieve a Smart ETIPS. Different types of heater technologies were tested by Meggitt Polymers and Composites (MPC) in a range of configurations, in order to optimise ice protection coverage and power consumption. This resulted in development of an advanced heater technology.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) undertook studies to support the definition of an optimal structural solution.

A technology demonstrator prototype representative of a laminar wing with incorporated technology was designed and manufactured, to support the validation of the icing solutions. The AMRC provided the Leading Edge and wing after body. MPC provided the advanced heater technology which was incorporated in the Leading Edge and after body.

The ATX icing solution was tested by the performance of full-scale tests in the NASA IRT icing wind tunnel (IWT) with the support of the Topic Manager. Artus provided 270VDC power switches while MPC developed the ice protection control environment. Investigations were performed on both AI and DI solutions.

Accomplishment of the NASA icing tests and with the approval of the Topic Manager resulted in the confirmation that the developed advanced heating technologies satisfied the requirements of TRL 6, while the tested icing solution satisfied the requirements for TRL 5.

A further objective of ELWIPS was to provide system definitions of the impacts of installing an ETIPS system on a target aircraft. System analysis undertaken by MPC and Artus with the support of both ATX and the AMRC resulted in the definition of a system architecture that is fully capable of meeting both specific aircraft level and regulatory requirements. At the system implementation level, the Topic Manager has approved that analysis supports the requirements for TRL 3.

The aims of ELWIPS are consistent with the environmental goals (ACARE) in respect to reduced emissions (efficient ice protection reduces fuel consumption) and the CSJU objectives within the Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft ITD related to drag reduction by using laminar flow wings.


Lead Organisation
Artus S.a.s
Chemin du Champ des Martyrs, BP20009 AVRILLE, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€153 441
Partner Organisations
The University Of Sheffield
Firth Court Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, United Kingdom
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€294 829
Meggitt Aerospace Limited
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€317 794
Aerotex Uk Llp
Westmead House Westmead, Farnborough Hants, GU14 7LP, United Kingdom
EU Contribution
€122 153


Technology Theme
Aircraft design and manufacturing
Electromagnetic induction based ice protection system
Development phase
Demonstration/prototyping/Pilot Production
Technology Theme
Composite materials
Composite materials for structural purposes in the aircraft
Development phase
Demonstration/prototyping/Pilot Production

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