The Pitot-Static System and Its Maintenance

For a pilot to effectively and safely fly an aircraft, they regularly rely on a number of instruments that provide them with a numerous of important operational readings. Instruments that are pressure based generally derive their measurements or readings from what is known as the pitot-static system, that of which is a common feature on countless aircraft for its ability to accurately and efficiently create readings related to Mach number, airspeed, altitude, and more. In this blog, we will discuss the pitot-static system in brief detail, allowing you to have a better understanding of their use and importance.

 Pitot-static systems are made up of two major elements, those of which are the impact pressure chamber and lines and the static pressure chamber and lines. Impact pressure is obtained from pitot tubes that are placed in the flow of air, allowing them to obtain readings related to the aircraft’s motion through the atmosphere. On the other hand, static pressure ports are situated in a relatively undisturbed area of the fuselage so that readings related to atmospheric pressure changes can be captured. In order to supply various instruments with pressure, lines will run from each chamber to cockpit installations.

 One of the most common pitot-static instruments is the airspeed indicator, that of which is connected to both the pitot and static pressure sources at the same time. Through the use of instrument parts that compare the differences between pitot and static pressures, a fairly accurate airspeed indication can be achieved with tools and resources generally being provided to pilots to make any necessary corrections.

To achieve altitude readings, an altimeter can be used with aneroid wafers responding to air pressure changes to conduct measurements. Such instruments may be referred to as pressure altimeters or barometric altimeters, and the exact instrument one has may vary based on the design of their cockpit and other factors. Aside from such examples, the machmeter and vertical speed indicator are also common pitot-static systems that utilize pressure change readings and pressure comparisons to conduct their measurements.

As pitot-static system components rely on the collection of air pressure through fuselage openings to carry out their operations, they can run into various errors when there are blockages, malfunctions, or various environmental conditions. As a lack of readings can lead to a very unsafe flight operation, it is essential that system elements are regularly subjected to maintenance and inspection so that any vents, openings, or lines can be cleared as necessary. When cleaning vents, it is important to be careful as to not damage instruments by blowing materials into them.

If a block is not suspected but there are still issues, you can also use a pitot-static tester or other similar tool to see what an issue may be. Calibration test sets are also very advantageous, and they generally only need to be used once every six months to guarantee that all aircraft indicators are correctly set up. Using maintenance manuals for the aircraft or instrument in question, you can also better calibrate everything to OEM specifications.

If you are in the market for various pitot-static system parts, testers, and other aviation products, we have you covered here on Integrated Parts Online. On our website, we provide customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts that trace back to leading manufacturers we trust, and everything is ready for purchase at any time. As such, feel free to submit completed RFQ forms for any items of interest, and we guarantee customized responses that meet needs and restrictions alike in as little as 15 minutes or less from receiving and reviewing a completed form. Get started today and see why so many customers steadily rely on our services for all their operational needs.


November 20, 2022

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