What about de-icing?

‘De-icing’ is really only a buffer to get the aircraft through icing conditions.

Flying a non-pressurised aircraft means you will tend to be flying in the weather, not above it. Even with oxygen the ceiling of the DR401 CDI is limited to 16,500 feet and the rate of climb approaching that level will be modest, potentially prolonging time in icing conditions. 

An electrical de-icing system been considered but has not been prioritised by the factory. There are several considerations:

Safety: in a non-pressurised aircraft with a fixed undercarriage a de-icing system could have limited benefit. The propellor and the leading edges of wing and empanage will be protected, but ice can still accumulate elsewhere, increasing mass and drag and degrading the aircraft's ability to climb, perhaps trapping it in icing conditions or forcing it to descend;

Increased mass and, therefore, reduced payload;


Presently, the best protection agains icing is forward planning: if you encouter airframe icing make sure you have left enough space to descend into warmer air.

Back to the FAQ list

 Mistral Aviation LLP, Elstree Aerodrome WD6 3AR, UK; Contact Us