Microsoft Flight Simulator is back, and developer Asobo’s latest iteration is absolutely the series’ high watermark. Unfortunately, despite all the improvements, its tutorial system isn’t great; the game doesn’t explain many of the concepts you’ll need to know to become a master pilot. That includes what the Pitot Tube is and what the Pitot Heat switch does in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
What the Pitot Tube Is
The Pitot Tube is a device used to measure airspeed, usually placed in a convenient location on the exterior skin of your aircraft.
Basically it’s a tube that will let the air in and will use its velocity in order to measure how fast you’re going.
Considering that speed and altitude are your main resources as a pilot, a malfunction of the Pitot Tube may cause your airspeed indicator to malfunction as well.
How to Use Pitot Heat & What it Does
A Pitot Tube clogged by ice will likely “freeze” your airspeed indicator, depriving you of critical information during your flight.
If your aircraft’s Pitot Tube isn’t automatically heated (which is usually indicated by the fact that there is a dedicated switch for it), you’ll need to turn the heat on whenever you suspect you’re in icing conditions, including inside clouds and when the outside temperature is close to the freezing point.
Unfortunately, the location of the Pitot Heat switch will vary from aircraft to aircraft, but it’s normally in a convenient position on your dashboard.
Often, a good way to find a specific switch is to open the checklist on the top menu, find “Pitot Heat” and then click on the Eye icon, which will highlight the control for you.
That does it for what the Pitot Tube is and what the Pitot Heat switch does in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
For more useful tips and information on the game, do check out Twinfinite’s extensive guide wiki.