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Aerospace Question for Aerodyamicist on Vertical Stabilizer Icing

  1. Aug 27, 2011 #1
    Can someone explain why a lot of jet and turbo-prop aircraft do not have anti-ice protection on the vertical stabilizer, particularly those aircraft with T-tails? Obviously, it is because the Vertical Stab on these aircraft are not prone to collecting ice, but my question is WHY is this so? Is there some aerodynamic reason for this? I'm just a pilot guy, not a scientist or engineer, so please anser accordingly! Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2011 #2
    The vertical stabilizer can certainly collect ice. It just happens that in a lot of cases the effect of ice forming on the vertical stabilizer is not serious enough to justify the extra weight that the additional ice protection system would add. Some aircraft do have ice protection systems on the vert stabilizer. It just depends on the aircraft. Ice affects every geometry differently there are some airfoils/wings that barely suffer from even large ice shapes and then there are airfoils/wings that become completely useless with even the smallest amount of ice.
  4. Aug 28, 2011 #3
    Thanks for the reply! Does a T-Tail have any "beneficial" effect re: icing problems (or lack thereof) on the vertical stabilizer? It just seems like a lot of smaller turbo-prop and corporate type jets with T-Tails do NOT have ice protection on their vert stabs.
  5. Sep 1, 2011 #4
    I am not aware of any advantage that a T-Tail configuration would give the vertical stabilizer. The t-tail configuration helps the horizontal stabilizer by bringing it out of the downwash of the main wing.
  6. Sep 1, 2011 #5
    A lot of small jets don't see as big of problems with icing as the larger jets do. Nor, usually, can they justify the weight of deicing equipment.
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