Embraer has filed a patent for a thermo-pneumatic anti-icing system for multiengine turboprop aircraft. The system includes port and starboard anti-icing subsystems that connect heated engine bleed air to the airfoils of the aircraft, providing in-flight anti-icing protection. An auxiliary power unit (APU) can supply heated APU bleed air to the anti-icing subsystems during abnormal single engine or single pneumatic bleed air conditions. A controller opens cross bleed valves to allow APU bleed air to be supplied to the airfoil that cannot receive heated engine bleed air, protecting both airfoils against in-flight icing. GlobalData’s report on Embraer gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Embraer, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Embraer's grant share as of September 2023 was 62%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Thermo-pneumatic anti-icing system for multiengine turboprop aircraft

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Embraer SA

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230286659A1) describes a thermo-pneumatic anti-icing system for multiengine turboprop aircraft. The system includes port and starboard pneumatic bleed air subsystems that provide heated engine bleed air from the turboprop engines. These subsystems are connected to port and starboard anti-icing subsystems, which in turn are connected to the airfoils of the aircraft. This setup ensures in-flight anti-icing protection for the airfoils.

The system also features an auxiliary power unit (APU) that can supply heated APU bleed air to the anti-icing subsystems. Normally closed port and starboard cross bleed valves are associated with the pneumatic bleed air subsystems and are connected to the APU. When opened, these valves allow heated APU bleed air to be supplied to the airfoils that are unable to receive heated engine bleed air due to a single engine operational condition.

A controller is responsible for issuing control signals to the cross bleed valves based on the single engine operational condition. This ensures that the APU bleed air is directed to the appropriate anti-icing subsystem that is unable to receive heated engine bleed air. As a result, both the port and starboard airfoils are protected against in-flight icing during this abnormal single engine anti-icing operational condition.

The patent also describes the specific components and connections of the system. For example, the anti-icing subsystems include piccolo tubes that receive heated engine bleed air from the turboprop engines and direct it against the interior leading surface of the airfoils. The APU is connected to the bleed air supply line through port and starboard bleed air branch lines. The cross bleed valves are associated with these branch lines to supply heated APU bleed air to the piccolo tubes.

Additionally, the system includes environmental control packs connected to the heated engine bleed air for controlling environmental conditions within the aircraft. The pneumatic bleed air subsystems have branch lines that are connected to the anti-icing subsystems. The anti-icing subsystems also have anti-icing valves that are controlled by the controller to regulate the supply of heated engine bleed air to the piccolo tubes.

The controller is designed to maintain a balanced supply of heated engine bleed air energy to the piccolo tubes during the abnormal engine operating condition. It achieves this by modulating the anti-icing valves based on data stored in non-volatile memory associated with mass flow curves of the piccolo tubes.

Overall, this patented thermo-pneumatic anti-icing system provides effective protection against in-flight icing for multiengine turboprop aircraft, even during abnormal single engine operational conditions.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.