At Aviation Week Network´s 16th Annual Program Excellence Awards banquet last night, a team from UTC Aerospace Systems´ Sensors & Integrated Systems business was honored for the company´s groundbreaking achievements in improving aviation safety in severe icing conditions, the company said.
The team won in the Supplier Research and Development/System Design and Development category. UTC Aerospace Systems is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The adverse effects of high altitude icing on aircraft propulsion and air data sensors have been a growing concern of the aerospace industry and airworthiness authorities. The combination of modern aircraft reliance on air data sensing systems for primary flight controls and increased air traffic in inter-tropical regions has increased exposure to high altitude icing conditions. These conditions can affect multiple or all pitot probes installed on an aircraft and can lead to unreliable airspeed measurements.
UTC Aerospace Systems responded by addressing both short- and long-term industry needs. A lean production system was developed utilizing the United Technologies ACE (Achieving Competive Excellence) operating system to streamline the production of a pitot probe that had increased robustness to Appendix D conditions. This allowed operators to retrofit their aircraft with the improved probes more quickly than would otherwise have been possible.
At the same time, UTC Aerospace Systems launched a 5-year effort to develop a new facility capable of creating and testing extreme icing conditions, and a new generation of air data sensors capable of operating in the expanded certification envelope. In 2015, the company completed construction of its advanced icing wind tunnel and soon after successfully qualified the industry´s first air data sensor, a pitot probe, to the full Appendix D envelope.
UTC Aerospace Systems is one of the world´s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products. UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries, supporting a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.