February 2016 Issue

Keep Your Aircraft Clean

Even small amounts of snow or frost on your airplane is more insidious than you may think.

Ice, snow or frost adhering to our wings and other control surfaces add weight and drag, and can change way air flows over and around the airframe, making an otherwise “clean” air flow “dirty.” How dirty? Let’s drill down a little bit into the underlying aerodynamics of airframe contamination for a better understanding of what the difference between a clean and contaminated airplane can mean.

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