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Thread: Pitot Heat

  1. #1

    Default Pitot Heat

    Can someone give me a 'layman's' explanation of Pitot Heat please.
    I have read threads here about it's use, but cannot find anything to tell me what it is and how it works.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Beaverton, OR, USA.

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    Hi Ade,

    The pitot is a little tube that sticks out in the front of the aircraft, either on the wing or many times on the nose of a twin (or pusher type) aircraft. As your airspeed increases so does the pressure in the little hole in the tube and when this pressure is compared to the pressure of your static wick (where your altitude and VS information is read) it causes your airspeed reading to rise on your ASI (airspeed indicator). Since this is a little metal tube with a hole in it on the outside of the aircraft it is subject to the weather conditions you are flying in so if it is raining, or you're in a cloud, or in high humidity conditions, or even in conditions where the dew point and ambient temperature are close, and the temperature itself is close to freezing or below freezing this little hole can get blocked with ice. Rule of thumb is in weather +5˚ C to -10˚ C you turn the pitot heat on to prevent icing of this pitot tube and loss of airspeed information.

  3. #3

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    A pitot tube is a probe on the outside of an aircraft that measures airspeed. If the air temperature is below freezing, moisture can freeze and block it. Pitot heat heats the device and keeps that from happening to ensure your aircraft's airspeed is measured.

    Named after Henri Pitot
    DK ...
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  4. #4

    Default RE: Pitot Heat


    Excellent, now I know what it is, I why I need to use it.

    Many thanks for an early reply, and so well written too.


  5. #5

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    Many thanks again............

    and more sources of info for me to dive into.......LOL


  6. Default RE: Pitot Heat

    But is it really modeled in the FS9? If I leave it off, which I often do, nothing seems to happen within the aircraft as a result. Another words the sim seems to function as if it's on whether you've turned it on or not.

    Is that true or is it dependent on the aircraft?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Las Vegas, Nv, USA.
    Blog Entries

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    Try leaving pitot heat off and fly in cold weather.(i.e. "winter wonderland) My airspeed guage reads zero and doesn't move.("frozen")
    When I turn on pitot, it works.....
    Dell XPS X8300 Intel core i7-2600(3.4 GHZ,8 MB Cache) 8 GB memory 1.5 TB HDD 2 GB Nvidia 1050 ti graphics card Windows 7

  8. #8

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    Yepper I roger that-- it does work in FS

    Don R

  9. #9

    Default RE: Pitot Heat

    It might take a little while in cold weather to see your airspeed indicator go to zero. This is because flight sim has a very complex ice formation algorithm built in :D }(
    DK ...
    : AMD Anthlon 64 4000+ (formerly 3200+) : 1.5 GB Ram :
    : HIS Radeon HD2600XT 512MB DDR3 : 15" LCD @ 1024x768 : 4x AA : 8x AF :
    : logitech dual analog gamepad (wired):

  10. Default RE: Pitot Heat

    Pitot airspeed indication is a critical component of aircraft operation particularly so in a complex aircraft, like the 757, where a non-functioning or malfunctioning pitot airspeed indication can initiate a whole compendium of other problems, [ though in the case of the Air Peru 757, the Pitot holes were taped over whilst the aircraft was being cleaned and the aircraft flown without the tape being removed ].

    Best and Warm Regards
    Adrian Wainer

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