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Airplanes Take Cue From Poisonous Dart Frogs to Optimize De-icing

posted: 03/24/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Blue Poison Dart Frog
iStock/Thinkstock

From Discovery News

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 if an airport runs out of the glycol and water mixture. Looking to get around these problems, Rykaczewski began working to make a system that could minimize the use of antifreeze.

Click here for the full story from Discovery News

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