How does a supersonic transport aircraft IPS system work? Does it work only for the engine nacelle or both engine and wing. I was thinking only for nacelle since the wings are usually highly swept. Also, how is it powered? through electrical system or air from engines? Are there any books I could refer to to find out more about systems of supersonic aircraft?

I am working on a project which has a theoretical supersonic business jet. Since there are no SSBJs, I would appreciate any help I could get.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ There are no supersonic business jets. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    May 30, 2022 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD The ones in the past, Tu-144 and Concorde, what kind of systems they had and why? $\endgroup$
    – itsChibi
    May 30, 2022 at 12:01
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    $\begingroup$ Those weren't business jets @itsChibi, they were commercial airliners, not private jets. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    May 30, 2022 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD So the system configuration for supersonic jet would be different from supersonic airliner- because of size and weight difference? $\endgroup$
    – itsChibi
    May 30, 2022 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ Supersonic airliners are jets, are you asking how icing protection works on small as opposed to large supersonic airplanes? If not you need to clarify what you are asking. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    May 30, 2022 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


Depends on the aircraft. Concorde, for instance used electrical deicing system on its engine inlets, air data probes and wing leading edges to prevent ice accumulation during subsonic climb and descent.


Supersonic cruise typically takes place in the upper stratosphere and beyond, where no weather save only a few very powerful thunderstorms ever penetrates. Secondly, deicing equipment would not be needed there as supersonic cruise typically causes a great deal of airframe heating due to atmospheric friction. A Concorde cruising at Mach 2 typically had skin temperatures in excess of 150° F over its surface and the SR-71 encountered skin temperatures from several hundred to 1200° F over its airframe. High supersonic and hypersonic aircraft would be even worse. Airframe icing will not form under these conditions.

Information on deicing systems on supersonic business jets (SSBJs) remains largely proprietary at this point, but I suspect they use similar schemes to that of the Concorde. IF, that is, one of these designs finally goes on test flights (Ahem, Boom!) and stops with the CGI eye candy.

  • $\begingroup$ The several thousand degrees F on the SR-71 could only be found inside its engines - if at all. The outside reached around 600 F at stagnation lines and around 1200 F at the nozzle. Still enough to melt any ice. $\endgroup$ May 30, 2022 at 21:21

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