Columbia Offers "Weeping" Anti-Ice System

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Columbia Aircraft is ready to offer optional TKS anti-ice and de-ice "weeping wing" protection for its line of single-engine piston aircraft, the company said on Monday. The TKS system works by exuding a measured amount of glycol-based fluid through microscopic holes in wing leading edges. A separate mechanism disperses the fluid for the prop. The system will be offered as an option on new aircraft and as a retrofit upgrade on all Columbia 400s and 350s and soon the 300s, according to Kevin Hawley, president of AS&T, which manufactures the TKS system. Columbia also offers all-electric E-Vade anti-icing. "Columbia likes to provide customers a choice and TKS is a brand that consumer are familiar with and respect," said Columbia Vice President of Sales and Marketing Randy Bolinger. Owners who want the TKS retrofit work can have it done at AS&T facilities in Bend, Ore., or Salina, Kan. TKS systems are flying on more than 4,000 aircraft, from single-engine pistons to midsize business jets. Basic cost of the Columbia after-market TKS installation is $27,500. Both TKS and Columbia will display a Columbia 400 equipped with the system at their exhibits at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., in less than two weeks.