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Any anti-icing system on USAAF twin-engined bombers?


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You might think I'm fooling myself, but it wasn't until today (after 50 years of interest in aviation and modeling), that I discovered that the three basic World War II American light and medium bombers (A-20, B-25 and B-26) most likely have no anti-icing installation whatsoever on the wings. I know that high-altitude flying heavy bombers (B-17, B-24 and B-29) and airliner-derived designs (C-47, A-29) have black rubber boots integrated with the wing leading edge. PBY and British Blenheim are similar. And here what's going on?

Was it assumed that a twin-engine bomber would never have to get through the clouds of a stormy weather front? Shed some light on this at least, please.




PS. Although Wikipedia mentions the anti-icing installation as the basic change introduced in the B-25C, but the B-25H/J cutaways by Mike Badrocke/Aviagraphica are completely silent on this subject

Edited by KRK4m
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  • KRK4m changed the title to Any anti-icing system on USAAF twin-engined bombers?

You may stretch the question to RAF early  twins too.

Blenheim, Anson, Whittley, Hampdon..

I worked on these subject a decade ago. I came across of de-icing paste.

But devenitly  the ops under icing condition I remember on late Wellington from Italy after 1943.

Happy modelling 

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    did they use something like tbe raf a/c,

    a yellow paint type substance called i think kilfrost ?

maybe there was an american made version ?



Edited by brewerjerry
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To be specific:


Anti-ice systems prevent ice from accumulating.  Most often this system heats the leading edge of the flying surfaces.


De-ice systems remove accumulation of ice already present.  Most often this system consists of rubber ‘boots’ which inflate slightly with air to physically remove the ice.


Anti-ice systems were not generally in use in WWII era. Most large American aircraft had (from their factory) rubber ‘boot’ de-ice systems fitted.  They were often removed by squadrons because they require some maintenance and were not considered essential.  


Best wishes!



Edited by Lusitanian
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