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TKS panel close-up (and TKS corrosion)

I have started unpacking the huge crate of stuff. This is a 40x microscope pic of one of the wing panels

It surprised me how “rough” the holes appear to be.

Also I wonder why the panel has such a coarse brushed finish. It almost hides the holes.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I guess the holes are being made by laser, their shape affected by the variations in the material reflectivity during the laser process. Titanium is much more reflective than steel and thus harder to laser cut. But as I say, just my guess…

LKHK, Czech Republic

Peter wrote:

Also I wonder why the panel has such a coarse brushed finish. It almost hides the holes.

My guess is that it’s beneficial for keeping TKS fluid in place.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

A trivia question for a Friday afternoon:

When, where, and why was TKS invented?

The mother of all aviation forums has the answer

Indeed. Whilst the reasoning for “why” is perfectly credible and part of the benefits of TKS, my understanding is that there was a simpler and more fundamental reason that led to the original development of TKS

A quick Google reveals this.

A slightly slower, more measured search (says Bored of Dresden) suggests that it was the Beautiful Game what won us the war.

Which is interesting, because my sports journalist nephew wrote his history degree thesis (later published in an academic journal) about the connection between winning the First World War and changes to the off-side rule.

EGKB Biggin Hill

My understanding is that TKS was developed in response to a shortage of rubber resulting from disrupted supplies during the Second World War. Dunlop, then and now a rubber company, developed the porous fabric system mentioned in the PP posting.

In terms of technology adoption, I find it fascinating that a solution developed in response to a problem almost 80 years ago has a market as a high tech solution for modern light aircraft.

Peter wrote:

Also I wonder why the panel has such a coarse brushed finish. It almost hides the holes.

How do you clean it? Flying at a grass field, it will be full of insects packing the holes full of smashed insect juice ?

The elephant is the circulation

The holes are concial and somewhat self cleaning. They should only be cleaned with a rug and clean water, or with TKS fluid. Some of the tiny holes can get clogged over time but the system stays functional. It’s really important to not fill them with polish/wax.

My airplane is 11 yo and the system works fine although i fly to grass strips regularly.The system SHOULD be run at least every four weeks, so the sponges behind the titanium panels do not dry out. I only run it when i a) need it or b) if I fly VFR through a rainshower. Otherwise the whole airplane feels sticks afterwards. I did run it on the ground occasonally, but it’s really such a mess that i don’t do it anymore.

If you put the airplane into the hanagr after a flight on which you used TKS… be prepared for a mess too … it keeps dripping for a week.

Does it work? Yes. Do I like it? Not really … I wish there was an alternative for light SEPs.

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