I found this word "boot" in one book. The chapter was connected with ICING operations, and I found this word with little explanation:

A tube bonded to a surface, e.g. wing edge. When pressurized with fluid, it breaks up ice.

Please explain what is it?
What aircraft equipped with it?
Photos would be nice.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The word "boot" applies in two ways here: one because it covers the leading edge (it even was called "overshoe" at some point) and second because it "boots" (ejects) the ice away. $\endgroup$
    – Agent_L
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question refers to de-icing equipment, but for the sake of completeness, boot can also refer to wheel boots, an aerodynamic covering sometimes placed around wheels on fixed landing gear aircraft aircraftpaintprotection.com/image/cache/Products/… another commonly used term is wheel pants. $\endgroup$
    – Bassinator
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


Versalog already told the core of the thing. Most prop aircraft which are approved for flights into known icing conditions have such boots to remove the ice from the wings leading edge. Those boots are either inflated manually whenever you need them (by the press of a button of course), at regular intervals or automatically whenever ice is detected.

Check this picture, the black thing is the boot on a Dash 8's wing:

Dash 8 boot Link

  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible boot to be another color? And why black? $\endgroup$
    – wiaim
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ @wiaim: It's rubber, just like tires. $\endgroup$
    – MSalters
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, but why rubber to increase heat transfer? $\endgroup$
    – wiaim
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ Rubber is flexible. Rubber is black because of added carbon, which drastically increases the durability and strength of the rubber. It's also good at scattering/absorbing UV, which is much more intense at altitude and would rapidly destroy the rubber. $\endgroup$
    – Nick T
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ @wiaim It's not to do with heat. When it activates it inflates sort of like a balloon and causes the ice to break off and blow away. Anti-ice by heating is a different type of system that doesn't involve a boot $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Mar 29, 2017 at 17:50

Find a picture of any WWII bomber or any modern Cessna Caravan and there should be a black stripe along the leading edge of the wing and tail surfaces. That is termed a boot.

enter image description here
(Image source)

Inflating it slightly will make the ice break and fall off the wing.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hello Versalog, welcome to aviation.stackexchange.com! It would be great if you could find a free (non-copyrighted) image of an aircraft with de-icing boots to improve your answer. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Mar 29, 2017 at 15:28

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