More "Up Close" Info On GA's Latest FIKI Certified Bird
Just a few weeks ago, ANN broke the exciting details on Cirrus new "Known Ice Protection" option for Cirrus SR22 and Turbo models. Aircraft are available for sale now, with FAA certification for operations in known icing conditions expected in Q2 of 2009.
The KIP program, called project "KIWI" by the folks who were in on the secret development project, has been years in the making and required extensive engineering, serious rework of the airframe and construction protocols, and lots of flight testing... some of which was fairly intense. There are a number of features inherent in this massive upgrade... extended TKS panels for the wing, vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizers (including the very end of the leading edge of the elevator counterbalance), as well as dual rate redundant TKS de-icing fluid pumps, a windshield TKS application system, prop slinger, an ingenious wing/tail icing detection light, heated stall detection vane, larger/dual TKS reservoirs, Perspective software upgrades that monitor the entire works, and so much more...
Cirrus Chairman Alan Klapmeier noted that, "Known Ice Protection completes the picture for many when it comes to reliable, personal transportation. It can allow operations on marginal weather days when icing forecasts would otherwise preclude travel. This means a Cirrus customer gets more utility and ultimately more capability from their airplane investment."
Alan added that, "An important issue to address up front is although the airplane has completed testing to show its safe to fly in FAA known icing conditions, no one should ever think that this means they can drone along impervious to nature in icing conditions — nature always wins! Of course proper training and decision making is essential for flight safety."
Developed in partnership with CAV Ice Protection Ltd., the Cirrus SR22 and Turbo Known Ice Protection system has CAV’s fully integrated TKS “weeping wing” technology in laser-drilled panels on the leading edges of wings, horizontal and vertical tail surfaces and elevator. Dual pumps provide the power needed to distribute the fluid throughout the airframe.
New high-intensity LED ice lights on both sides of the airplane illuminate wing leading edges and tail surfaces through a unique prism lens. An automotive-style de-icing system distributes TKS fluid evenly onto the windshield, and a traditional slinger-ring affords ice protection for the propeller and other remaining exposed surfaces.
The Cirrus Known Ice Protection system integrates with Cirrus Perspective (by Garmin) on 12-inch screens by displaying key operating and system status information on the MFD. TKS fluid capacity of up to 8 gallons maximum and various pilot selected flow rates allows de-icing fluid flow for up to 2.5 hours. If fluid levels run low, Cirrus Perspective will display cautions and increasing warnings.
Cirrus indicated testing of the system for FAA certification was largely complete, though formal approval has not yet been granted.
Sensitive to potential backlash from the GA community about the safety of single-engine piston planes operating in known icing, FIKI approval or not, the company also added a caveat to anyone who would assume FIKI meant imperviousness to Mother Nature.
“Known Ice Protection approval does not create an ‘all weather’ airplane, a perhaps overused term in aviation. Even airliners and corporate aircraft cancel flights for weather – particularly winter weather. A broad knowledge of weather operations and flight experience in your Cirrus is always necessary.”
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