How To Simulate Leading Edge De-icer Boots

By Jeff Jensen

Here’s a technique that’ll help you simulate leading edge de-icer boots on your airplanes. I found that black shrink wrap tubing is perfect for these boors. It’s soft, pliable, easy to cut, has that rubber look and texture to it, and can be secured in place with super glue. Try and use the smallest diameter of tubing possible due to the fact that the larger the tubing is, the thicker it’ll be. The thin wall material will be more in-scale.

Cut a slit in the tubing and spread it out flat. Now take some heavy object (like a big book) and lay it on top of the cut tubing to flatten it out and remove most of the curl. Once this curl is taken out, trim the tubing to the size you will need; try and trim as closely as possible to the size you want. Test fit the tubing to the wing to see that you’re getting the size and shape you need. When you’re satisfied with the fit, then glue the piece to the leading edge. A WORD OF CAUTION: use the super glue sparingly. The tubing is non-absorbant; that means the glue will spread around a lot.

When fitting the tubing in place, try and work your way from the top aft edge of the boot to the bottom aft edge. Use your X-acto knife handle like a rolling pin to smooth out the boot. If you need to trim the boot: don’t worry, be happy. The cut should be at the edge of the boot and hence the cut line should blend right in. I think that once you see the results you’ll agree that it’s the only way go when doin’ de-icer boots.

Original text from “Techniques: How To Simulate Leading Edge De-icer Boots On Your Airplane.” Plastic Novelty Items, V8,N1.