The European aviation industry has an urgent need of Icing Wind Tunnels providing the conditions for tests with different kinds of clouds. The Climatic Wind Tunnel is getting an Upgrade to such an Icing Wind Tunnel.
The prototype tests of the icing rig in the Large Climatic Wind Tunnel (large CWT) of RTA in Vienna have been successfully performed. This icing rig changes the worldwide largest Climatic Wind Tunnel for climatic tests on rail vehicles into one of the largest Icing Wind Tunnels worldwide. Hence, with the beginning of next year a new service will be available at RTA: Icing Tests for aviation customers
The Icing Wind Tunnel (IWT) guarantees icing conditions with different cloud conditions:
- Stratus clouds ("Continuous Maximum Condition") are featureless hazy coulds often producing light drizzle: for tests with light to moderate icing during a long time period
- Cumulus clouds ("Intermittent Maximum Condition") are puffy and piled up. They can be made of ice crystals or super cool water droplets and often result in thunderstorms: for tests with severe icing over a short duration
The special nozzle construction has an implemented spray system and is used to simulate clouds with icing conditions for aviation purposes. It can be fixed into the large CWT and still enables a wind speed up to 80 m/sec. It allows a validation of the performance of ice protection systems in an efficient laboratory environment. Due to the big dimensions and high cooling capacity, not only the investigation of 1:1 scale objects but also running an engine under full load up to 1800 HP is possible. This makes the installation feasable for e.g. investigating air intake systems and the effects on engine operation.
Over the current year an icing rig has been constructed especially to be installed in the large CWT. The result of this modification is the upgrade of the large CWT into an Icing Wind Tunnel. The cross section then measures 3,5 m (11 ft) x 2,5 m (8 ft), hence 8,75 m², with a temperature range of -2°C to -30°C and a droplet size from
15 µm to 40 µm. Without the contraction nozzle this cross section can even be enlarged to 16 m² which is the largest Icing Wind Tunnel testsection worldwide, even suitable for testing a whole helicopter.
Our target is to provide aviation conditions as close as possible to reality - in an efficient laboratory environment.