New de-icing system for planes takes cue from poisonous frogs

March 23, 2015 8:02 PM

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New de-icing system for planes takes cue from poisonous frogs

Although spring is finally here, the nightmare of winter flight delays is still fresh in many frequent flyers’ minds. However, these delays could soon become a thing of the past, and we have poisonous frogs to thank. Researchers from Arizona State University believe they have found a way for plane wings to de-ice themselves by secreting anti-freeze, much in the same way a poisonous dart frog’s skin secretes a toxin when threatened.

ASU’s Konrad Rykaczewski has been working on anti-icing surfaces since 2012. Currently, antifreeze is sprayed down on airplane wings to prevent ice buildup, but the process is expensive, wasteful, and harmful to the environment. It’s also very time-consuming, causing delays that can only get worse i...

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