pitot tube

noun, often capitalized P
pi·​tot tube | \ ˈpē-ˌtō- How to pronounce pitot tube (audio) \

Definition of pitot tube

1 : a device that consists of a tube having a short right-angled bend which is placed vertically in a moving body of fluid (such as air) with the mouth of the bent part directed upstream and that is used with a manometer to measure the velocity of fluid flow

Examples of pitot tube in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The pitot tube’s measurements can show if the plane is flying fast enough to be stable, or if the plane is flying too slow, putting it at risk of stalling. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Australia, Just One Wasp Can Ground an Airplane With a Strategically Placed Nest," 1 Dec. 2020 Critics say the planemaker and airline didn’t take the pitot tubes problems seriously enough. Washington Post, "French judges drop case against Air France for 2009 crash," 5 Sep. 2019 Modern jets have several devices called pitot tubes and computers that process information about speed, heading, nose angle, altitude and other information. Washington Post, "American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging flight," 6 Sep. 2019 An American mechanic discovered a loose pitot tube and an ADM obstructed by a dark Styrofoam-type material. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "American Airlines sabotage saga: What we know and safety questions answered," 6 Sep. 2019 The case has led to new air safety rules regarding speed sensors known as pitot tubes. Washington Post, "French judges drop case against Air France for 2009 crash," 5 Sep. 2019 Problems with malfunctioning pitot tubes—airspeed sensors located under the noses of aircraft—have been well documented over the years and resulted in a number of high-profile passenger-aircraft accidents. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Airspeed Sensors Emerge as Initial Focus in Lion Air Crash," 30 Oct. 2018 The cause is the fact that the plane's pitot tubes, externally mounted sensors that determine air speed, have iced over, so the human pilots will now have to fly the plane by hand. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011 Another of the pitot tubes begins to function once more. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pitot tube.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pitot tube

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pitot tube

French (tube de) Pitot, from Henri Pitot †1771 French physicist

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Time Traveler for pitot tube

Time Traveler

The first known use of pitot tube was in 1852

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Cite this Entry

“Pitot tube.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pitot%20tube. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for pitot tube

pitot tube

noun, often capitalized P
pi·​tot tube | \ ˌpē-ˌtō- How to pronounce pitot tube (audio) \

Medical Definition of pitot tube

: a device that consists of a tube having a short right-angled bend which is placed vertically in a moving body of fluid with the mouth of the bent part directed upstream and that is used with a manometer to measure the velocity of fluid flow (as in a blood vessel)

More from Merriam-Webster on pitot tube

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pitot tube

Comments on pitot tube

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