Indicated airspeed error due to gradual blocking of pitot tube with drain hole

    Filip Sklenář Affiliation
    ; Jiří Matějů Affiliation


Problem of pitot tube blocking is persistent because even in the recent past there have been several accidents based on inaccurate information from air speed indicators. This problem was caused by a partial or complete blockage of the total pressure probes. Certain principles of blocking detection are well known. This article describes research into another principle of the gradual blocking detection of the pitot tube with drain holes. Pitot tubes with different blockage ratios were made and tested. A gradual blocking curve was described. The independence of velocity magnitude for the investigated airspeeds was found. This research shows that the drain hole design can be useful for a pitot tube blockage detection. The principle is based on another pitot tube with a larger drain hole area. Airspeed error due to gradual blocking grows faster on the other pitot tube. Gradual blocking of both pitot tubes results in a difference in indicated airspeeds, even at constant speed flight and before full blockage. This airspeed difference can warn a pilot and gives him or her a valuable time to use emergency procedures.

Keyword : pitot tube, total pressure, static pressure, blocking, unreliable airspeed

How to Cite
Sklenář, F., & Matějů, J. (2022). Indicated airspeed error due to gradual blocking of pitot tube with drain hole. Aviation, 26(1), 64–71.
Published in Issue
Apr 5, 2022
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