ASTM Approves Icing Standards

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Standards organization ASTM has approved two new standards for general aviation aircraft on the thorny issues of icing behavior and icing protection. ASTM says its new standards thread the needle between practicality and performance, establishing handling characteristics and icing protection for airplanes ranging in size from two-place singles to 19-seat business jets. Instead of one standard for the whole category, the new standards make certification applicable to design rather than forcing the design to comply with a cookie-cutter standard. "This is a completely new way of thinking about certification in aviation," ASTM member Marten Bosman said in a news release. "In the end, the product specified will be safe while at the same time reducing time and cost of certification."

In the case of handling characteristics, Bosman said the group established "simple methods for simple aircraft" and "more complex methods for complex aircraft." Aircraft manufacturers will use it as their design standard and regulatory agencies will use it as their reference. As for icing protection, the same basic ethic applies. "Aircraft manufacturers will use this standard to ensure that new planes meet the appropriate sections that apply to their type certificate from the certification authority," said ASTM member Dennis Regnier. "Also, companies that design and make ice protection systems, air data probes, and other equipment will use the standard to ensure that products they supply to aircraft manufacturers meets certification needs."