Aircraft use pitot tubes or pitot-static tubes. Do these have some kind of anti-ice system? If so, how? And if not, why not?

I'll just point out that it doesn't seem trivial to de-ice such a thing. A simple heating element at the front would melt the ice but then the water will travel through the tube and probably quickly reform somewhere else. So the entire tube could be heated, but then, that will drastically alter the ambient conditions that the pitot is trying to measure.


1 Answer 1


You can see an example sketch of a heated pitot tube in the FAA Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

Pitot Tube

As you can see, there are two heaters that heat the entire tube and (ideally) stop ice from forming in the first place (anti-ice, not de-ice).

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thank you. My question should have been, how does such a heating not adversely affect the ambient conditions its trying to measure? But even that has been asked already. aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/34527/… $\endgroup$
    – DrZ214
    Feb 2, 2021 at 16:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ They also really need an anti-hornet nest feature :) $\endgroup$
    – RoboKaren
    Feb 2, 2021 at 22:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .