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Which of the following answers is correct regarding the formation of ice on a propeller?
  • A
    To counter icing conditions in a light aeroplane without de-icing, the pilot should reduce propeller RPM as far as possible.
  • B
    Considering the whole aeroplane, the most critical effect of icing conditions is through ice formation on the propeller blades.
  • C
    The presence of ice on propeller blades causes propeller efficiency to be reduced by up to 20%.
  • D
    On a propeller blade, ice tends to form first towards the tip, due to the sharp leading edge.

Refer to figure.
The propeller essentially functions as an airfoil. Ice buildup alters its shape and increases surface roughness, leading to decreased efficiency and potential blade stalling. Consequently, the aircraft's performance deteriorates, accompanied by heightened fuel consumption. In addition, the weight of the ice increases the aircraft weight and therefore the lift required. If ice builds on an unprotected propeller, thrust reduces.

  • The greatest quantity of ice normally collects on the spinner and inner radius of the propeller.
  • The estimated propeller efficiency loss is on the order of 15%-20%.

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