Similar to a card hitting the spokes of a bicycle, the card is soft enough to knock the dust off the spokes with no damage. What material would be best to impede the propellers to chip off the ice. Assume the flexible rod is machine held. What heavier duty impeller could be used for this? What about the same idea for a helicopter rotor?

I apologize for the multiple questions but they could not stand alone on their own. If it an issue let me know.

  • $\begingroup$ What does this solve that deicing boots or heat plates do not? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest a machine gun firing through the propeller, with no synchronization mechanism. Firing blanks of course. Or... not. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer using concussion to clear the ice. hmmmm. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 14:00
  • $\begingroup$ @quietflyer excellent a machine gun could be timed so precisely to chip of the ice. Maybe salt rock. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2021 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


A rod soft enough to not be quickly destroyed by the propeller (or to damage the propeller) would likely be too soft to apply impacts forceful enough to shatter ice along the full length of the blades.

A "baseball card" big enough to handle the full length of the blades, and also soft enough, would likely be blown aft forcefully enough to not touch the prop at all.

Frame challenge: so-called deicing boots accomplish the same, with no risk of damage and with proven reliability, by electrically heating the blades to melt the ice.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe a propeller can be made with leading edge meets the rod where the contact is just with the ice and not the propeller or rotor? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 14:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How could that work when ice is on a blade's leading edge? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 18:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Justintimeforfun Would make an interesting challenge for constant speed propellers (variable pitch). Either way I think you are trying to solve a problem that has simple, effective solutions already. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 18:46

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