The Role of Probe Adaptors in Pitot-Static Testing

As pilots guide their vessels through the air, it is crucial that they have timely, accurate information about various flight conditions such as the speed and altitude of their aircraft. For this information, pilots generally rely on a grouping of pressure-sensing devices called the pitot-static system. These systems consist of a pitot tube and static tube, working in combination to tell the pilot valuable information about the airspeed, altitude, and vertical speed of their aircraft. One of the crucial portions of this system may be the pitot static test adaptors that can be installed onto the probes to enable the air data parameters to be transmitted to the flight-deck instruments. Here, you can read more about how pitot static test adaptors are used along with some major considerations to keep in mind during installation.

Airframe-mounted probes must be designed with certain considerations to their effect on the surrounding components. First, it is crucial that the pitot static tube adaptors do not damage the pitot-static system. The whole air data test system needs to simulate the right values of pressures and vacuums happening around the plane. Therefore, the mounting of the pitot and static adaptors and the relevant hoses forming the assembly onto the probes must not result in any damage to the aerodynamic contour or surface finish. In addition, the mounting should not cause any undue stress loading that could potentially misalign the probe. Aside from proper mounting positioning, it must be ensured that the sealing method used does not result in the sealing material coming loose and entering the probe, causing blockages.

The pitot-static systems on aircraft must be highly accurate about the air data values they communicate. As such, there must be minimal leaks in the overall system, including all the pitot-static test connections and pneumatic fittings utilized in the adaptor, as well as the hoses and air data test sets. A leaking system would result in observed values fluctuating as the air flows through the system.

Another factor to consider during the mounting process, is ensuring the proper alignment if you are using multiple intake tubes. Single pilot probes allow straightforward solutions with minimal worry about aligning multiple values. However, if the probe is a combined pitot and static variety then the pitot static test fittings must make sure that the static hole in the probe is exactly in line with the matching connection on the adaptor. Some form of mounting reference needs to be used to guarantee the correct placement of the pitot static connectors. More than that, a reference feature can also become particularly important if the probe is also being used as an Angle of Attack (AoA) sensor.

There are several common methods of mounting an adaptor on the aircraft fuselage. One major method uses rubber suction cups to clamp the adaptor onto the plate surface, providing a vacuum source from the various air data test sets to ensure a firm hold. Other systems employ the actual sensing hole as the fixing point but risk damaging the contour of the static point. On commercial aircraft, there are usually multiple probes fitted to allow the independent systems for the captain and 1st officer as well as giving a backup in case one system fails.

Overall, probe adaptors provide a way to transfer the data collected by the pitot-static system to the displays in the cockpit. When installing these adaptors, there are several important factors to consider in order to keep the entire system working at its best. Additionally, it is also important to ensure that you use quality, authentically sourced components to guarantee their reliable use on an aircraft.

As a premium procurement platform, Single Source Spares is a leading supplier of probe adaptors, aviation parts, and electronics components that have all been tested for their durability and function onboard aircraft. If you are in need of high-quality parts for your business, you can rely on Single Source Spares for adaptive solutions to your fulfillment needs. Backed by rapid lead times and a global network of trusted suppliers, we promise convenient shipping times wherever you are located.


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