Indiana-based DeGroff Aviation Technologies has developed a pitot tube cover for turbine aircraft called PitotShield V2 that self-ejects within two to five minutes of the activation of pitot heat. DeGroff is demonstrating the product at its booth (#3211) this week at NBAA-BACE.
Founder Steven DeGroff said he came up with the idea for PitotShield after a friend helped him preflight his airplane but didn’t remove the pitot tube cover. Describing PitotShield V2 as a “thermal reactive device,” DeGroff Aviation uses additive manufacturing to make its heat-resistant polypropene cover, which is constructed in two halves. It also features an orange streamer with a reflective tip and it has been tested to stay on a pitot tube in winds of up to 60 knots while the aircraft is on the ground.
DeGroff said the product was developed to prevent pitot covers from melting on the tube, which also creates a safety issue during flight. He said some operators also don’t use pitot covers for fear they won’t be taken off during preflight checks. In those instances, insects such as mud daubers can build nests inside a pitot tube.
List price of the PitotShield V2 is $599.